Stating that the 28th WorldFood Istanbul is getting ready to open its doors with the next-generation hybrid exhibition concept, Hyve Group Regional Director Kemal Ülgen underlined that Hyve Connect, a digital cooperation platform, will be used more actively this year than in previous years and will increase the trade volumes of the members of İHBİR (İstanbul Cereal, Pulses, Oil Seeds and Products Exporters’ Association) and ETÜDER (Association of Out-of-Home Consumption).
After the first months of the new normal, the Turkish economy sends positive signals. The 28th WorldFood Istanbul, which will be organized by Hyve Group, the largest exhibition company in Turkey and in the world, is getting ready to bring together local and foreign exhibitors and host its visitors at TÜYAP from November 25 to 28 in cooperation with the Istanbul Cereals, Pulses, Oil Seeds and Products Exporters’ Association (İHBİR) and the Association of Out-of-home Consumption Suppliers (ETÜDER). Aiming to establish close contact between exhibitors and international buyers until the exhibition, the team of WorldFood Istanbul holds virtual meetings through the Hyve Connect application to bring together local buyers and international market representatives.
Stating that the Turkish economy started to recover from the pandemic, Hyve Group Regional Director Kemal Ülgen said, “Current data indicates that the negative situation in the Turkish economy changed in the new normal. We would like to share a hopeful development about WorldFood Istanbul, which is an important international cooperation platform in the field of food and food technologies in Turkey. There is a significant increase in online invitation purchases compared to previous years. This data indicates that the number of visitors in the exhibition will be remarkable despite the current conditions. In addition, we will host foreign buyers in Istanbul through the Hyve Connect application, our virtual trade platform, in cooperation with İHBİR. Thus, Turkey will experience a hybrid exhibition in practice for the first time at WorldFood Istanbul.”
Hyve Connect meetings offer export opportunities before the exhibition
Ülgen reminded that the business volume of 300 million euros created at the WorldFood Istanbul 2019 was supported by Hyve Connect, a virtual trade platform, and underlined that the platform has been actively used since 2018. He said, “The feedback we receive is positive and supports the traditional exhibition approach. As part of the buyer committee event that we hold with the support of İHBİR, foreign buyers who are unable to attend our exhibition will meet our exhibitors who want to deliver our local delicacies to all over the world, through our Hyve Connect application. For our users who adopt the next-generation trade approach, Hyve Connect will be a highly important platform to establish correct, efficient, and quick business connections.”
Noting that the effects of the transformation process on supply chains will increase and that food safety will gain importance in agricultural policies, Ülgen reminded that the actions that can be taken in Turkey in this regard will be discussed in detail at the events to be organized as part of the exhibition.
He also underlined that they brought exhibitors and foreign buyers together at warm-up tours until the exhibition and held meetings with them through the Hyve Connect application.
Ülgen said, “At the virtual trade meetings we held on August 11 and 12, we brought together 25 foreign buyers from 19 different countries and more than 100 exhibitors. A total of 782 business connections were established in these virtual meetings in 2 days. Thanks to this infrastructure that we provided before the exhibition, our exhibitors developed their business networks, connected with the right customers, and took advantage of export opportunities. Owned by Hyve Group, the Hyve Connect infrastructure offered export opportunities to our local exhibitors before the exhibition. We want to expand our series of meetings, which attracted great attention and received positive feedback, and to take similar steps before other exhibitions in Turkey.”
Okutur said, “Social trends increase the purchases of foreign companies from our country.”
Stating that WorldFood Istanbul is a cooperation and trade platform that will contribute directly to Turkey’s exports, President of İHBİR Haluk Okutur reminded that being an exhibitor is an effective way to increase sales, promote products, and gain new customers by communicating directly with a large number of representatives from food wholesalers and retail chains who are involved in the purchase of food products.
Okutur said, “WorldFood Istanbul is an ideal platform for foreign companies to discover the Turkish food industry, connect with important figures and buyers in the industry, and promote their products in a new market. The export rate has been increasing steadily in Turkey for 10 years. Social trends, such as busier lifestyles, urbanization, and higher average income, change eating and drinking habits and lead foreign companies to make more purchases from our country.”
Noting that most of their members are preparing for the exhibition, Okutur reminded that many new products will be introduced to the food world at WorldFood Istanbul, the international meeting point of the Turkish food industry, with the participation of more than 1,000 brands. He said, “As İHBİR, we will increase the efficiency of the exhibition by inviting qualified hosted buyers this year, as we did last year. New brands will be exhibited, and value-added products will be promoted in this exhibition, which will bring our country to the forefront on international platforms in the food industry in the coming years and will have long-term effects. I think it will increase exports in our industry with the participation of professional and qualified visitors.”
Okutur added that the demand for staples increased during the pandemic; that the uninterrupted production ensured the continuity of the activity in the industry, even though the products were consumed from home; and that especially flour consumption increased 10 times during the pandemic.
A next-generation platform for efficient trade: Hyve Connect
Hyve Connect is accessible to all users who want to establish business connections, including exhibitors, buyers, and professional visitors. It is designed to bring together customers and the right suppliers and to ensure that all visitors are able to make healthy plans during the exhibition, prepare daily schedules, and establish business connections in a correct, efficient, and quick manner.
Matching the right people based on an algorithm that aims to bring together exhibitors and professional visitors on a common ground, Hyve Connect has an easy-to-use mobile application that can be downloaded to smartphones. Hyve Connect is also supported by a web-based platform and can be used without downloading any application, if desired.
Providing easy access to detailed information on the program and events of the exhibition, Hyve Connect is getting ready to launch the Virtual Meeting option, which supports and enables the practice of social distance in line with the needs that arise from the COVID-19 pandemic, at WorldFood Istanbul. In this way, users will be able to video chat with the professionals they want via a virtual platform during the exhibition and provide information about their products to each other using the application. In addition, all the events organized during the exhibition will be able to be followed on Hyve Connect with live broadcasts.
Another new feature of the Hyve Connect application is related to user profiles. Up until now, exhibitors could only use company profiles in a limited way by adding product information. The updated and improved version of Hyve Connect enables exhibitors to customize their profiles and promote their products in a more detailed and comprehensive manner by adding product images, related PDF files, and videos, if any.