Many exhibitors and interested parties gather at trade fair stands and exchange information on specific topics. In order to make the trade fair visit clearly arranged for visitors and participants, the challenge lies in the management of a lot of information. The provision and processing of data is a finely orchestrated result that is assembled from many individual parts.
M-Way Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of MWAY GROUP GmbH, has been supporting Messe Frankfurt GmbH for years in the conception, development and implementation of mobile applications. In the meantime, a complete app family has been created. The more than 60 apps are an important part of Messe Frankfurt's digitalisation strategy.
In order to provide visitors with an optimal overview, useful information and orientation at the respective trade fair, a companion was needed that could be used intuitively at every event.
When developing the app for Messe Frankfurt, the first question was how all the information about exhibitors, exhibition grounds, news and trends for different trade fairs could be processed and summarised so that it could then be accessed via a mobile device. The goal was to establish a central system that is easy to maintain and can be used across all events
In order to manage all data conveniently, various source systems such as the exhibitor database, the CAD system, the event calendar or social media profiles were integrated into a central database. Source data for the mobile app is also imported, processed and optimised at regular intervals. In order to reduce the enormous amount of data exchanged between the mobile app and database to a minimum, a special function was developed, a so-called Delta Sync, which only retrieves the changed data since the last synchronisation.
"In order to be able to map more than 60 events worldwide with their own appearance in a trade fair app every year, the app was developed as a modular system. This achieves a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to the needs of the individual events," explains Timo Schneider, responsible IT team leader at M-Way Solutions.
The app's presentation, modules and content can be updated quickly and easily via a content management system. Changes and updates can be made available in short cycles. This ensures that the event app always displays the relevant information and guarantees an optimal user experience.
The app impresses with its intuitive user interface and good usability, which has been optimised for different devices. Criteria such as device and platform compatibility, data security, local data storage for offline mode, different network connections, operating system updates as well as modularity for future requirements were also considered in the conception and implementation.
The app for iOS and Android was realised in the open source framework Flutter. A core function of the app is an intuitive map of the grounds, whose map is updated almost in real time to reflect the latest changes and provide visitors with good orientation. In addition to the event site in Frankfurt am Main, the trade fairs in Nuremberg, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Cologne and the cities of Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Osaka and Buenos Aires are also supported.
In addition, the mobile app offers the possibility to obtain information on exhibitors, grounds and events via an integrated audio guide.
“M-Way Solutions has managed to combine the high requirements and wishes of Messe Frankfurt in a holistic concept consisting of backend, frontend and mobile app and to integrate it into our system landscape. The solution provides tangible added value for our trade fair visitors and has become a key success factor for our events,” confirms Tarik Koujou, Team Leader Global IT Service Management at Messe Frankfurt.