Power Up Your Operations at ProMatDX – 2021’s Unrivaled Supply Chain Experience

by Greg Baer, Director of Sales, MHI

When the world gives you lemons, make some awesome lemonade.

We are all familiar with that proverbial phrase. We use it to inspire optimism and to encourage perseverance and to keep that smile and positive can-do attitude when adversity shows up on our doorstep.

Well, in December, a big old truckload of lemons showed up at the front door of MHI headquarters when we made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person ProMat 2021 show in Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, my colleagues and I had been busy researching the science behind the process of making the best ProMat digital lemonade possible – just in case.

It started over a year ago as we were trying to learn all we could about the COVID-19 pandemic while preparing for the in-person MODEX 2020 in Atlanta last March. At the time I couldn’t have fathomed that ProMat 2021 would be cancelled, and we would be introducing a fully digital event known as the ProMat Digital experience, or ProMatDX, April 12-16. Yet here we are, figuring out a new digital experience together.

So, what is ProMatDX? ProMatDX is MHI’s digital event designed to deliver supply chain professionals access to the latest solutions to improve the resiliency and agility of their operations.

How, exactly, will this work? To understand how it will work, first we need to understand what we are trying to accomplish. Mo Husseini, SVP of Design for Freeman, was a presenter in our ShowProDX sponsor educational series. Mo phrased it so well in one of our pre-webinar prep phone calls when he said the key to a digital trade show is figuring out “how to capture a non-captive audience.” The number one component MHI was looking for when we pivoted to the ProMatDX platform was finding a solution that would encourage and foster attendee and exhibitor interaction.

In these unprecedented times, supply chain solutions are more critical to business success than they have ever been. We knew are attendees were in need of solutions, so MHI surveyed them in late 2020 and they told us they needed three things out of a digital ProMat. They needed to see product demonstrations. They needed to see education seminars. They needed to be able to connect and interact with sponsors. The first two are relatively easy from a digital show perspective. That third component, the component that we felt was most important, was harder to figure out until we found the Grip platform.

Grip is the first and most advanced AI-powered event networking solution on the market. It will empower our sponsors and attendees by providing full-cycle support that facilitates quality interactions. At its core, Grip’s proprietary technology drives intelligent recommendations through a self-learning matchmaking engine. Networking on a show floor is an art, but matchmaking and walking the virtual aisles of a tradeshow in a digital world is a science. Grip uses natural language processing, advanced algorithms and deep neural networks to constantly learn about the professional goals and interests of attendees and sponsors. It is much easier to capture that non-captive audience and encourage them to take a deeper dive into the offerings of solution-providers through one-on-one digital video meetings. We feel this will be a game changer.

One of the major benefits of an in-person ProMat or MODEX tradeshow is the opportunity for attendees to visit a booth and see the solutions in action. ProMatDX will feature real-time product demonstrations allowing our attendees to engage with sponsors while the demonstrations are occurring using the power of video and live Q&A via Slido. Slido will give attendees visiting a product demonstration or an educational session the ability to interact and ask questions with our sponsors as if they were on the show floor standing in a booth or sitting in a theater.

The ability to ask and have questions answered in real time by the product experts is a feature that our attendees will find extremely beneficial in this digital environment. And the cool thing about this format is sponsors and attendees can take questions during these sessions and parlay them into live, face-to-face video meetings within Grip to take a deeper dive, begin building that relationship and taking important next steps.

I am and will always be a salesperson who favors face-to-face, in-person meetings and I’m ready to start visiting members at their offices again. In the meantime, we have learned a few things and have squeezed a few of those lemons to deliver a premier digital event experience that will make ProMatDX and MODEX 2022 even more valuable for all audiences in the future. So please, have a seat and enjoy ProMatDX – April 12-16 at promatshow.com.