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Ann-Kristin Oestreicher

© Frankfurter Buchmesse

A place for international encounters, a trading centre, a literary showcase - Frankfurter Buchmesse has been offering all of this for 75 years. Now the time has come to extend these strengths beyond October into a 365-day digital fair. To this end, Frankfurter Buchmesse is investing in the new Frankfurt Connect platform. Time for an interview in the engine room of the project: with Ann-Kristin Oestreicher, Senior Marketing Manager and spokesperson for Frankfurt Connect. 

Hello Ann-Kristin, what are Frankfurter Buchmesse`s plans for its new Frankfurt Connect platform?

With Frankfurt Connect - as the name suggests - we want to create connections for the book industry. That's nothing new, it's always been in our DNA. It's the core of our business model. But we are now developing this extensively: we will be bringing what makes our trade fair unique right up to date and transferring it as well into the digital space. During the days of the fair and beyond October to the rest of the year. With Frankfurt Connect, we will enable chance encounters that our customers are familiar with from their everyday trade fair experience and we will be taking those encounters to the next digital level. With Badge Scan, we will create a link between the physical and digital worlds: simply by scanning a new contact’s book fair pass, using the Frankfurt Connect app, exhibitors will be able to receive further information about that person and can then developed personalized partnership going forwards. Frankfurt Connect also enables the uploading of extra marketing materials about a new contact’s company and allows appointments to be made on site or via a video call.

The many different functions offer advantages beyond the days of the fair - and will be beneficial for connecting with our international target groups: the events calendar can be filled all year round beyond the 3000 events in October. This also applies to Frankfurter Buchmesse itself, for example with our international trade events from Jakarta to Mexico City. 

All the new functions will be available on the website and on the app for mobile access.

Frankfurt Connect will not be finished after the launch but will continue to be expanded. Why is that?

That is correct. We already have a good platform in place for our customers for the trade fair days in October - but that will not be the final version. We are already working on other services in parallel and will release them after the trade fair. We will be taking feedback from our users directly after the launch. Our team will then use this feedback to further develop the functionalities. This "learning" form of development corresponds to our internal way of working: We will be working on Frankfurt Connect using the agile working method and in interdisciplinary teams. 

If you could freely implement everything for Frankfurt Connect: What would the platform look like in three years? 

Frankfurt Connect connects! In this sense, once the technical features have been rolled out, it should definitely be "human". People from the industry will come together there to work on joint projects. And we will see a publishing community that revitalises our industry well beyond the trade fair. As our customers reveal themselves to be really communicative and creative every year in October, I am very optimistic!   

Thanks for the interview!

The interview was conducted by Frank Krings, PR Manager Frankfurter Buchmesse.