Case Study - Hymer
The Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf is the world's leading trade fair for caravans and camping cars. Thousands of international visitors flock to the exhibition halls every year to find out about the new products and trends. As one of the world market leaders, the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) is closely associated with this trade fair and regularly has a major presence there.
For the trade fair this year, EHG used interactive information steles with SiteKiosk Online as operating software for the first time for the communication strategy. The aim of the steles was to present as much technical data and product information about the exhibited vehicles as possible in a vivid way. Visitors to the stand should spend as much time as possible at the both and acquire accurate information directly. Each of the 44 caravans and camping trailers on display had a stele with individual content.
The Erwin Hymer Group already noticed during the trade fair that the use of the terminals operated with SiteKiosk Online was successful and visibly increased the length of stay as well as the attention rate of the visitors at the trade fair stand.
In order to stand out from the crowd of exhibitors at a trade fair and to create sustainable communication models, the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) developed the idea of using interactive information columns on the trade fair stand. Until the terminals were ready for use, several challenges had to be solved together with SiteKiosk Online:
Probably the biggest task in preparing for the trade fair was to load the various terminals with the exact media and vehicle information and to assign them correctly. For this purpose, SiteKiosk Online had to be able to play the various designs and contents on the right terminals and, if necessary, update them as quickly as possible.
It was already expected in advance that the EHG stand would be visited by thousands of people and that they would interact intensively with the terminals. For this reason, it had to be assumed that such a high visitor frequency would also lead to conscious or unconscious operating errors. In order to avoid this scenario, the displays were to be equipped with a special break-out and manipulation protection.
Given the large number of terminals used and the extensive exhibition stand of the Erwin Hymer Group, software failures or operational faults are difficult to detect on site and costly to rectify. With SiteKiosk Online, a possibility was to be created that such error messages can be viewed centrally and clearly and, in the best case, can be rectified directly and easily without tying up trade fair personnel.
Periodically, during trade fairs, there is a need to make further adjustments or updates to the content of the stelae. This needs to be provided via a readily available, simple and at the same time robust option without the need for on-site staff.
The use of the interactive steles in this form was a communicative premiere for EHG. In order for the benefit of the terminals to be measured and finally evaluated on the basis of data, a data protection-compliant option was to be integrated that records the user behaviour of the individual terminals and produces meaningful analysis data.
The Implementation and solutions
Trade fairs are an effective platform for presenting new products and innovations. Each trade fair concept aims to attract visitors’ attention through innovative measures and persuade them about the products on display. For the first time, the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) relied on the use of centrally managed interactive information steles for the Caravan Salon 2023. SiteKiosk Online took over various key functions for the implementation:
Probably the biggest challenge in the run-up was the correct loading and commissioning of the 44 terminals with individual content. For this purpose, the appropriate content and media were assigned to the individual pillars centrally in the SiteKiosk online application. From there, the data was transferred to the terminals and displayed on the steles. For this process, a service worker integrated into the displayed content was used, which wrote the necessary data into a cache and thus stored it locally on the terminals.
SiteKiosk Online actively prevents existing caches from being deleted. This function allows the terminals to display the media content completely even in offline mode and thus does not require a permanent internet connection. If updates to the media or data have been made during offline operation, the new data records are overwritten and displayed immediately upon the next contact with the server. This process enables a high update capability of the end devices.
In general, the management of the terminals is a big task: The more different kiosk projects are operated, the higher the probability of malfunctions or failures of individual terminals. SiteKiosk Online took over the entire monitoring and provides real-time status reports on the individual clients in a central overview. In case of a malfunction of one or more applications, an error message would have been triggered in SiteKiosk Online. A problem report then informs about the cause and the location on a dashboard in the software.
In addition to a fail-safe system, SiteKiosk Online also provides protection against manipulation: Touchscreen displays entail an increased risk of break-outs due to their active operation. Thus, it is possible to break out of the actual application through conscious or unconscious actions. This represents an enormous security risk for the respective end device but also for the entire server structure. Leaving the kiosk application was deliberately prevented by securing the entire operating system. SiteKiosk Online is able to block all escape possibilities.
It is difficult to measure the success of trade fair presentations. With the use of the information pillars, a certain degree of measurability became possible: every action and every page called up was recorded and can be called up and displayed in a report within the SiteKiosk Online software. The recording is subject to strict data protection requirements.
Immediately after the trade fair, the Erwin Hymer Group had meaningful data at its disposal which, among other things, provided information about which terminals were used most frequently and which media were called up the most. This possibility is a clear improvement on classic analogue media. A first evaluation showed that more than 62,000 actions were carried out during the entire trade fair period. This is a clear indication that the digital information terminals were very well received and used by stand visitors.
Thanks to the successful integration of the interactive trade fair terminals, new perspectives have opened up for the Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) in its communication strategy at trade fairs. Thus, the path of the new steles already chosen at the start for two of the group's brands will be extended to the group's other brands.
The remote management of the kiosk applications through SiteKiosk Online made it possible to react dynamically to any malfunctions that occurred. Technical problems were displayed directly and could be remedied in the shortest possible time and independent of location. The time of an operational breakdown can thus be greatly minimised to almost avoided.In addition, this technology offers great savings potential in terms of time and staff input when preparing for a trade fair. The supply of content to the devices can be done automatically and at the fair.
The possibility of permanently updating the media contained represents a great added value for future trade fair appearances. The pillars can be adapted to individual content at any time. All presentation content is played out centrally on the appropriate devices and is also available offline. Thanks to automatic action measurement, SiteKiosk Online also makes it easier to recognise user data and provides information about which companions received particularly much attention from visitors. From the point of view of SiteKiosk Online, the use during the Caravan Salon was also informative. The kiosk software withstood the high frequency of use and guaranteed a fast presentation speed.
The Erwin Hymer Group is one of the largest manufacturers of motorhomes and caravans in Europe. In addition to its own brand Hymer, the Group also includes Bürstner and Dethleffs. EHG's production facilities are located in Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada. The Group is represented worldwide by service companies and sales partners.