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10 - 13 May 2022
News Overview 7/30/20
Interview with Martin Buhl-Wagner: OTWorld.connect will bring the global industry together

Interview with Martin Buhl-Wagner: OTWorld.connect will bring the global industry together

OTWorld will open its doors both in Leipzig (OTWorldOnSite) and online (OTWorldOnAir) from 27-29 October 2020. Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, explains the new OTWorld concept and how it will be implemented during the pandemic.

OTWorld will take place despite Corona. What led to this decision?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, says:

As the world's leading trade show, OTWorld is responsible for ensuring that, especially in times of crisis, it is possible for professionals to meet and exchange ideas with each other. The market is in a state of flux and companies need a platform to present their innovations. The OTWorld.connect 2020 concept provides exactly this. The specially developed digital programme will enable us to reach our target groups around the globe. Visitors will be fully immersed in an entirely new trade show experience. We are looking forward to OTWorld.connect 2020.

OTWorld is the world's leading exhibition and world congress for prosthetics, orthotics, orthopaedic footwear technology, compression therapy and individual rehabilitation technology. To what extent do the terms "Worldwide" and "World Congress" still apply to OTWorld.connect in October 2020?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, responds:

In order to invite participants, we have almost completely redesigned OTWorld. In addition to the on-site event parts (OTWorldOnSite), there are now digitally run events too (OTWorldOnAir). The term "World" will remain in the title as we are expecting to welcome guests from all over Europe on site. The digital programme is aimed at the international public.

What will this dual concept look like – what does it entail for exhibitors and visitors?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, responds:

The newly developed concept will allow us to flexibly adapt to changes and meet the demands of the industry.

Headed by Professor Christoph Josten and OTM Michael Schäfer, the OTWorld congress programme will be supplemented with special care aspects under pandemic conditions. The bilingual congress will be live-streamed and digital viewers will be able to participate in an exchange with experts in the subsequent Q&A session. On-site participants will also be able to benefit from exclusive offers. The TAR Conference (Technically Assisted Rehabilitation) will take place at the same time as OTWORLD.connect for the first time on 28 – 29 October 2020.

To emphasise the addition of "connect", a forum in the trade show hall will take centre stage at this year's OTWorld exhibition. The German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT) will hold health policy discussions and provide on-site participants with a platform to exchange ideas and network. A studio where brands, themes and product presentations as well as interviews can be broadcasted live from the event and interactive workshops of the exhibitors are only some of the offers for both on-site and online exhibition participants. The show will also feature digital showrooms to present innovations. All on-site participants will be able to use the new event and match making tool in our app. This will allow us to prepare for the trade show visits in an optimal manner.

Is it safe to visit Leipzig during the pandemic - what does the hygiene concept look like?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, responds:

The health and safety for exhibitors, visitors and employees is the top priority for Leipziger Messe, the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT) as well as for Confairmed.

As a trade show company, we are well equipped to host safe events, direct streams of visitors and implement event concepts in compliance with a wide variety of conditions. Our group of companies is responsible for planning approx. 70 in-house and guest events scheduled before the end of 2020. These events will take place in accordance with the Corona Protection Ordinance issued on 3 June 2020 by the Saxony state government, which expressly permits trade fairs and congresses with an approved hygiene concept. Leipziger Messe has consequently developed its own hygiene concept, which has been examined and approved by the Public Health Office of the City of Leipzig. This hygiene concept has been further refined for OTWorld.connect in consultation with the BIV-OT, the leading association of service providers, to better meet the needs of our industry.

It's also great that we can rely on visitors and exhibitors who are already trained in hygiene and health technology due to the the industries represented at OTWorld.

I will briefly introduce the key aspects of the hygiene concept. You can find all of the information on the hygiene plan on the OTWorld website:

  • OTWorld.connect is aware of its responsibility as the leading trade show for the healthcare industry. Therefore, we are planning to make masks compulsory for all exhibitors, visitors and employees/service providers in accordance with the current regulations.
  • The recommended minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained by everyone at all exhibition stands, in lecture rooms and in common areas.
  • Compliance with hygiene standards will be ensured and the flow of visitors will be controlled in order to avoid crowding.
  • Visitors will receive their ticket in advance in digital form via the ticket shop. As part of the online ticket purchase, participants will be registered to ensure any necessary contact tracing.

How was the name OTWorld.connect created and what is the meaning behind it?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, responds:

OTWorld 2020 will connect the industry's international community in these times of uncertainty and upheaval worldwide both digitally and on-site in Leipzig. Staying connected is crucial for the industry, particularly in light of the current situation. In order to highlight the special features of OTWorld 2020, "connect" was added to the end of the name - OTWorld.connect 2020.

If everything goes as planned with the dual-concept trade fair, won't you technically be digging your own grave as a trade show organiser?

Martin Buhl-Wagner, Managing Director of Leipziger Messe, responds:

No, I don't think so. As confirmed by the Federal Guild Association, precisely this industry relies on encounters, personal exchanges and unintended discoveries that occur whilst strolling around the trade show. Moreover, the digital elements of this year's event, which are both logical and helpful to visitors and exhibitors, will most likely feature in the concepts of future shows.