In today’s modern, fast-paced business environment it is becoming ever more challenging for engineers to spare the precious time needed to visit trade shows. With more and more business being done exclusively ‘online’ the overall impression many seem to have is that it is a luxury to use valuable time to physically visit an exhibition. For some industries exhibitions will remain an important element of the way business is conducted but for others, it is a low priority.
Let’s not forget that there is a value to be placed on one of the remaining tangible elements of doing business; the opportunity to view a company’s complete range of products, to experience the quality first hand, to see the product working and to be able to pose questions directly to the experts, looking someone in the eye and asking, “Will it do the job?” In industries where these things are important, then ‘online’ might not be enough by itself. So what is the solution?
Here in Parker’s Automation Group, we have spent much of the last 12 months working on a new exhibition vehicle to tour around Europe with the objective of taking our latest products directly to the customer, at locations convenient for them. The core concept of ‘Automation on Tour’ is to present a mobile exhibition space, very much like a stand that customers would usually encounter at a trade show. The vehicle is taken to the customer site in the morning, set up within an hour or so and remains on site from a few hours to several days depending on the event requirements.
Aimed at distributors, end-users and OEM facilities, the vehicle carries over 200 products and solutions offered from the five divisions within the Parker Automation Group. The roadshow presents significant opportunities for existing and new Parker customers to experience the Parker portfolio of automation products, showcased in an innovative and professional way. The products onboard are updated regularly to reflect the newest and most interesting Parker Automation products.
In addition to experiencing Parker products first hand, customers also have the opportunity to undertake product training sessions or hold meetings with their local Parker representatives. And for those that still attend exhibitions, the vehicle is a perfectly suitable and adaptable space for sitting alongside conventional display stands and is flexible enough to be positioned either inside or outside.
The tour has been designed to reflect Parker’s innovative approach to technology. Built on a fuel-efficient, Euro 6 compliant vehicle platform, the 48m2 of exhibition space is created by two extending pods which, when in show mode, create a fully air-conditioned, comfortable, light and airy space. The five hydraulically controlled axes are powered by Parker technology; in this case, the new Parker Electro-Hydraulic Pump (EHP) System comprising a GVM motor, MC mobile drive, and a hydraulic pump. The full system is on view underneath the vehicle through an access hatch allowing customers to watch Parker products in action.
The vehicle features a cleverly designed modular display system, which can be customised depending on the needs of the audience. Eighteen different displays, from a total of 30 stored onboard, can be on show at any one time, each representing a product series or category. The mix of products on show can be changed to suit the occasion. A number of interactive display boards, such as variable speed drive and pneumatic ‘air-saver’ product demonstrations, also provide an engaging introduction to Parker technologies.
Rather than provide printed literature for customers to take away, we have opted for a greener solution; by providing iPads with a dedicated app visitors can ‘virtually’ browse through all of the products on display and view all of the available marketing materials related to that product including brochures, technical catalogs, animated videos and more. The app developed in-house by a dedicated Parker team is also available online in a HTML 5 format for visitors to view using their own 3g/4g devices during or after the show.
Over the past few months, Parker sales teams across Europe have been busy arranging the details of its first full tour; a Europe-wide road trip starting in Poland this March and stopping at 13 countries in 32 weeks including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, Italy, and the UK, going right through until November.
If you’d like to experience it just contact your local Parker Sales representative or follow Parker Hannifin on Twitter with the Hashtag #ParkerTruckTour to get the current updated location.
This article contributed by Matthew Dowd, Marketing Communications Manager, Automation Group EMEA, Parker Hannifin
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