Interzoo organiser WZF did not have much time to build its digital show platform for the period from 1 to 4 June, and it undoubtedly merits huge respect for its achievement. The results were praised as probably the most technically demanding digital trade fair worldwide in the pet supplies business.
Admittedly, at first glance the plethora of virtual cafes, networking areas, lead-finder directories, stand areas and accompanying programme items appeared confusing and surely frightened off a number of visitors in the run-up to the show. But with 336 exhibitors from 48 countries, a satisfactory outcome could be achieved, at least in terms of numbers.
The extensive international spread of the digital fair was pleasing and by no means self-evident. Players from China and South Korea in particular were strongly represented alongside European companies. High-profile exhibitors from North and South America were largely absent, however, from the digital event.
Retailers thin on the ground
Online participation in Interzoo continued over four days, but it was no substitute for the popular physical fair that was so familiar hitherto. During the online show days, many exhibitors and other participants complained that far too few speciality retailers and retail groups could be accessed. The number of visitors subsequently reported by the organisers was impressive at 14 537 participants from over 100 countries. The figure included 9 513 visitors during the show, including roughly 30 per cent from Germany. 130 000 chat- messages and 2 300 video calls underline the high levels of interaction on the platform, and the activity in the chat room cafes occasionally resembled a Turkish bazaar. Companies from across the globe banged the drum for their products.The portal remained open until the end of July. On its closure, those involved unanimously expressed the hope that a live Interzoo will be permitted this year.