IAPCO Member: Japan Convention Services, Inc., Japan

COVID-19 severely changed our lives. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are no exception, however, they need support in order to protect their unique products, traditional techniques, and innovative skills for the future. Indeed, their products greatly contribute to our lives as in general they are specialists such as craftsmen and engineers.  Their main work is creation and frequently they are not used to negotiating with other people.

This was one of the reasons JCS organised the Japan SMEs Tech & Services 2020, 7-9 December, in Tokyo.

Just one example was an exhibit of a full-scale model of the asteroid explorer Hayabusa 2. The mission of Hayabusa 2 was to explore not only the origin of planets, but also the origin of water in the oceans and the origin of life on the earth. The technology that supports this mission is aimed at establishing Japan’s unique space exploration technology, and is supported by the technological capabilities of many small and medium enterprises.

Table: Comparison between 2019 & 2020 of the Japan SMEs Tech & Services

2020 2019
Attendee 9,094 17,000
Exhibitor (Onsite) 645 539
Exhibitor (Online) 548 316
Invited Buyer 72 15
Matching Support 900 129

The numbers in the table shows that COVID-19 will not reduce the demand for meetings. If we attract people, they will gather onsite or online.

Usually, for Annual Meetings, we repeat the same elements as from the previous year. As a result, however, of COVID-19, we have to think much  more about how to attract attendees or exhibitors in order to make them join the event either onsite or online.  As a result, we have more people than usual. Unknown viruses are scary and we have to protect our lives from them, however, we also need to protect our economic activities to keep our lives normal. For that, we need to consider how to ensure events keep going.