Posted by

Barry Siskind

UFI’s Community Manager

Nicklas Bergman will open the UFI Open Seminar in Europe to be held in Turkey, June 15-17. The title of his address is How to survive the digital Tsunami – marketing trends and opportunities for face-to-face.

He is a serial entrepreneur and investor who focus on emerging markets and technologies. As the exhibition industry dives further into the technological superhighway Nicklas is the perfect choice to help us explore the opportunities and potholes of what he calls the “Digital Tsunami.” He is a sought after speaker and I reached Nicklas through the London Speakers Bureau to ask him for a preview of his address. Here is what he told me.


The “Digital Tsunami,” is a wonderfully descriptive phrase that brings to mind all sorts of mental images. How would describe it?

The “Digital Tsunami” is based on the notion that technology together with demographic changes, economic power shifts, environmental decline and continued globalization will fuel change and uncertainty in the coming decades I sometimes refer to the phrase ”techstorm,” Which is also the title of my upcoming book ”Surviving the Techstorm – Strategy in Times of Technological Uncertainty”. The “Digital Tsunami” is the fact that technology is maturing and has become a necessity for all industries and businesses, rather than a competitive edge. It is no longer a question of using technology to stay ahead; it is more a question of not being left behind.


What should organisers be doing now to prepare for this “Digital Tsunami?”


For event organisers as well as any businesses today, it is crucial to stay informed and up to date with new technologies. Use two perspectives, opportunities and threats. After having identified a number of technologies, assess how each will affect your business. For example competition from new and sometimes unexpected entrants, changes in customer behaviour, new ways to deliver customer value as well as possibilities to improve internal processes with the help from technology. Finally, after having analyzed potential technologies and assessed the impact on your business, it is time to act on this new information. Here a company has to decide what strategic approach to embrace. Being a technology leader by trying to shape the future of the industry, being agile and nimble trying to adapt to new realities or staying in the backseat, making cautious necessary investments to keep the doors open.


What are the three key questions organisers should be asking about the future of their exhibitions?

To be able to survive this “Digital Tsunami” organisers should be asking:

  1. What is unique about exhibitions, and what parts of an exhibition are difficult to digitalize?

Traits that come to my mind are social interaction, networking and physical presence.

  1. How can I use technology to improve the exhibition experience for a visitor?

For example, before and after the exhibition I can use technology to participate in social media, help visitors plan their visit and assist exhibitors in their follow-up. During the exhibition technology can be used to collect Big Data, improve networking with tagging, NFC and iBeacons.

  1. How can I stay in contact with attendees until it is time for the next exhibition?

As media outlets are diversifying into conferences and exhibitions, maybe it is time for exhibition organisers to diversify into media and content production to stay top-of-mind in between exhibitions.

Nicolas will be offering us his unique perspective in his keynote address that will surely impact the future of our businesses.

For more information on UFI’s Open Seminar in Europe click here: