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Cyberflora marks new era in digital trade fairsCarlos Hong is a small Colombian entrepreneur with a creative and curious mind. The company he founded a decade ago - Trade Missions & Show Management LLC (TSM) - known for its innovations in the field of digital marketing, is in charge of the Cyberflora Show 2017, which is the first virtual fair of ornamental products in the world. The Cyberflora Show will be held electronically from May 24th through 26th, 2017. FloralDaily spoke with the Colombian businessman regarding the details about such a groundbreaking event.
Where did the idea of a virtual ornamental fair come from?
It is widely known that Colombia, after The Netherlands, is the second largest exporter of flowers in the world. Colombian flower growers sell their products worldwide, and much of their commercial success is based on their participation in specialized international fairs. This reason led me to the belief, with the help of others, that I had an opportunity to work with the flower growers and offer them a new trading platform based on new technologies.
What exactly is Cyberflora?
Cyberflora Show is a fair; but a different kind of fair, because it is a virtual fair. It doesn't require a real face-to-face interaction. It is a novel social business experience based on the current systems of interconnectivity, using the latest generation 3D environment with an avatar experience, designed to give both exhibitors and international buyers of ornamental products the opportunity to promote and to know the new products, trends, and services related to the chain of flowers, foliage, and ornamentals of Colombia.
Has it been difficult to promote a virtual fair?
A little bit. But that is expected due to the stigma of the unknown. New technologies generate fear and raise doubts, especially when it comes to permeating traditional markets and generations which are framed in very rigid concepts and are reluctant to change. The issue is a little more difficult for the generation of baby boomers who still dictate their speeches to their secretaries and who, to this day, still do not believe the new technologies are relevant to them.
What are your expectations?
First of all, we want to innovate. It is important to emphasize that Cyberflora Show will be the first virtual ornamental fair in the world. Secondly, we want to generate effective commercial contacts through real-time communication within our target groups in order to increase sales of Colombian ornamental products via internet-enabled devices such as smart phones, tablets, or computers.
What is more efficient in today's world, a face-to-face or a virtual fair?
Both. The digital world does not exclude the real world, and vice versa. They are simply different trading platforms for buyers with different needs and expectations. The thing is that the new trends in the world are oriented towards the digital world, giving markets greater agility and above all visibility and accessibility in practical and economic terms. In the virtual world we already have complete shopping centers.
A closing remark?
Without Steve Jobs we would still probably be continuing to type on the typewriter. But the reality is that from a mobile phone we pay the bills, buy clothes, do face-to-face business with our peers across the world, confirm our air reservations, and even buy groceries.
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Publication date: 5/2/2017
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Congratulations on your business. Wishing you success.
Kathy Rojas Hong , Eugene, Oregon , USA - 5/5/2017 4:13:40 PM
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