5G has recently come to be accessible on Mount Qomolangma. The hashtag of 5G mounting the summit of the world has gone viral on the internet, since this is the highest mountain we are talking about that many have a deep longing for.
Thanks to the 5G coverage and the application of live broadcasting technology, the highest mountain peak in the world was no longer out of reach. Netizens could experience idling “on the clouds” and enjoy the sight of sunrises and sunsets from the perspective on Qomolangma through 4K high-definition imaging.
With 5G coverage, you don’t need to be there in flesh to appreciate spectacular cirrus from the world’s summit, something far beyond our imagination in the past. No one could deny that 5G is transforming the way we live. It has been even more true during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic where all kinds of 5G applications have led us to a life “on the clouds”.
During this period of time, 44 million Chinese netizens watched online how Huoshenshan, a makeshift hospital, has been constructed via 5G live broadcasting; medical experts across the country are providing remote consultations through 5G video call; people self-quarantined at home saw cherry blossoms from a 5G camera mounted on a driverless vehicle; exhibitions at museums became available via 5G live broadcasting. 5G technology even makes it possible for us to stay online to go shopping, springtime outing... you name it.
（The driverless vehicle with the 5G camera is live broadcasting cheery blossoms in Wuhan University）
Just in the past few months, there has been a spring of 5G applications in business verticals. 5G is gradually integrating itself into various fields and industries and influencing, subtly and silently, the way we live and work. The convention and exhibition industry, which is dubbed as the barometer of industry development and has also been in the grip of the pandemic, are pacing up to apply 5G to exhibitions, conferences and other events. Almost all conventional exhibitions and conferences have been moved onto the internet, and all the related activities like community communication, client maintenance and even transactions are now happening online. It could be expected that as conventional businesses resume in the post-pandemic period, these new technologies, media and platforms accessible in a high-speed network environment will continue to be favored by industries and finally become a normality.
While 5G surmounted the “third pole” on the earth, Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, to be the world’s largest venue in the world upon its full completion, has achieved full 5G coverage as well. So, what new trends will 5G bring to the convention and exhibition industry? How will Shenzhen World fare in the waves of 5G?
Faster integration for online events
2020 is bound to be an extraordinary year for convention and exhibition industry. Under the influence of the pandemic, the demands for online exhibitions and conferences have increased rapidly, and it seems like the "fast forward" button has been pressed for the development of online events.
First, the influential Canton Fair Spring Edition was announced to be held in the form of 10 × 24-hour live streaming. Then, the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE), which attracted wide attention, moved its first roadshow promotion to the internet. Throughout the industry, there has been a continuous emergence of experiments of online events.
On April 13th, the Ministry of Commerce released the "Notice on Innovating Event Service Models and Cultivating New Growth Drivers for the Exhibition Industry", which requires that the exhibition industry should accelerat its transformation, upgrade and innovative development, and new online event platforms should be built, by making full use of 5G, VR/AR, big data and other modern information technology means to hold “cloud exhibition”. This has further promoted the exploration and expansion of online event business. In addition, Premier Li Keqiang presided over the executive meeting of the State Council on April 28th and instructed that the construction of new infrastructure such as information networks should be sped up, both industry and consumption should be upgraded, and the focus should be directed to domestic demand. Application-oriented exploration should be made to discover application scenarios of new infrastructure, so as to adapt to the new demand of digital consumption, and to boost the development of applications such as online office, distance education, telemedicine, Internet of Vehicle, smart city, etc.
At the same time, after long-time stay at home due to the pandemic, people’s lifestyle and mindset have changed a lot. Their personal experience in all sorts of "cloud xx" online events has made online participation much more acceptable for ordinary users. Working and living “on the clouds” has become a new trend, which also help foster user habits in advance before a large-scale promotion of online exhibitions comes.
（Digital Dunhuang enables everyone to travel around Dunhuang while staying at home）
In addition, the rapid application and realization of online events cannot be achieved without innovation and rapid development of network technology and application. In the first year when 5G came to be commercially utilized, it has withstood tens of millions of netizens' demands for internet use, and its stability, versatility and commercial availability are also maturing with each passing day.
Applications of 5G in more specific segments are still going through continuous exploration and expansion. During the epidemic situation, live broadcast and short video are no doubt the "star" applications that have boasted the fastest development and the most vigorous demand. With the promotion of 5G infrastructure and the spreading usage of corresponding terminal devices, live broadcast and short video would be even more empowered, and evolve into more influential media platforms and channels featuring video content. In many dimensions, convention and exhibition industry could be combined with online technology, and digital marketing platforms and tools. In that way, businesses could be integrated or transformed, paving the way for the integrated development of virtual and physical events, an stoppable trend of the industry.
Preparing in advance and acting with trends
In recent months, social media has been dominated by 5G-related topics once every few days, and the competition for the commercial application of 5G seems to have been kicked off. During its planning, designing and construction, Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center has already deployed 5G-required network signals, becoming the first venue in the world with full 5G coverage. The venue has introduced three major domestic telecommunication operators and telecommunication infrastructure construction companies to ensure a full-spectrum and full-network coverage of signals. During events, organizers and exhibitors could also connect via the special line which offers broader bandwidth to cater for high-speed Internet access.
Moreover, Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center has continuously advanced the construction of smart venue, moving towards digital and smart operation. During the pandemic, we have been working hard to speed up the construction of smart and innovative service platform and explore more possibilities of 5G application in the future.
So, what other possibilities and changes will 5G bring to the industry? In the wake of its integration into the convention and exhibition industry, what kind of trend in application will be presented?
- Live event boosting sales and transaction
The appeal of professional live broadcast programms must be obvious to all. That signature sales pitch "OMG", by Li Jiaqi, one of the most popular live-streaming celebrities in China, has enchanted plenty of girls to dig deep in their pockets, a feat which could even make Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, hand it to him.
In the age of 5G, live-streaming events will undoubtedly become a new hot spot. The close connection between live broadcast and social media also provides a new way for exhibitors to direct traffic flow to online. At the same time, exhibitors also need to quickly adapt to the transition from traditional event to online marketing. To C businesses can further integrate into the online marketing environment at every stage of their business, from product selection, to publicity, negotiation and contract signing. To B businesses can try adpoting live broadcast for online meetings gathering the whole industry chain as well as product demonstration and negotiation, and video exposure and promotion on industry media serves as another way to expand online marketing channels.Live-streaming events also bring about new requirements to the venues, such as the conditions of venue facilities, and the stability of 5G signal coverage, both of which could have their part of impact on the effect of live broadcasting.
Speaking of live broadcast events, Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center is endowed with unique advantages. Amongst other reliable hard facilities, its lighting and A/V equipment are qualified to hold all kinds of large-scale cultural and artistic performances. Hence it couldn’t be easier to find a room for live broadcasting in our venue.
Besides, covered with 5G signals, Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center supports live broadcast on 5G terminal devices. Broadband network is directly carried over the network trunk road, and its bandwidth could also be adjusted according to different live broadcasting demands. In short, network becomes fast and stable. The dreadful experience of watching a live video lagging as if it is a PowerPoint presentation is long gone.
- VR technology enriching visitors’ experience
VR is no longer new, but 5G-based VR tours of events are really worth expecting.
On the one hand, VR technology has upgraded the way exhibitors demonstrate their products. Through the Internet and VR three-dimensional display, users can see products in an even more "real" way than they do on site. This sense of reality comes from the 360°detailed profiling of products and the real-time synchronization of product information. Just like shopping on Taobao, China’s biggest online shopping platform, users can obtain visualized information of product appearance, price, place of origin, material altogether at the same time within a few seconds and orders can be instantly placed.
On the other hand, users experience the immersion and interactivity provided by VR, which breaks the space limitation of conventional events, and promises to be another fun thing to do during an event. Some VR products enable users to be completely immersed in virtual scenes, which is both interesting and thrilling.
- Cloud Business: A Panacea for Problems in the Industry
A review of the past events would reveal that one of the headaches for many exhibitors has been a mismatch between offline and online communication. After an event, one may receive a bunch of business cards or have hundreds of new potential clients in WeChat, but extra efforts need to be made to double check identity information, resulting in soaring communication cost.
5G-empowered cloud business will gather more momentum for accelerated development. From initial communication with potential clients, e-business card sharing and customer database establishment to direct purchase and contract signing through global e-commerce platforms, all steps will be realized in an online meeting room, which greatly enhances communication efficiency, reduces customer loss and captures more potential orders.
（Remote Contract Signing in CIIE）
- Big Data Real-time Dynamic Analysis
The arrival of the 5G era will ease the pressure on cloud storage to a great extent and it’s hoped that breakthroughs can be made in big data technology. Timely and easy retrieval of data on the clouds means that organizers and exhibitors could get latest dynamic analysis of the online events and be well-informed to swiftly adjust online marketing strategies and maximize traffic acquisition.
To provide better services, many offline services provided by Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center are also based on big data which provides audience with real-time information of parking spaces, restaurants and event peak hours through the smart service platform. In the future, organizers and exhibitors will also be able to access visitor flow distribution, brand search popularity and other visualized information on the platform and then timely change their marketing strategies. We believe the big data technology boosted by 5G technology will deliver even more impressive online applications in the future.
Last year, when people spoke of 5G, the impression on it was simply a higher-speed network. We had imagined and discussed the future of 5G as wildly as possible at that time. However, we were still amazed, only a few months later, when we have witnessed how 5G has changed the lives of ordinary people and when we have been able to appreciate the sunsets at Mount Qomolangma via live streaming.
5G is leading us to the peaks and places once out of our reach. Despite the fact that convention & exhibition industry is already closely following the trend and many trials have been made to explore online events, sustaining efforts would still be needed to see how mature the application of new technology will be and how the technology will present itself at the end of the day.But this is also precisely the charm of industry innovation and development. Unpredicted as the limit is, you still want to fight for it.