Messe München: Sales portal with user experience

Arlanis Reply partnered with Messe München to create transparent information streams based on the Salesforce Experience Cloud.

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Transparent information streams in a heterogeneous landscape

Messe München is one of the world's top cutting-edge trade fair companies that operates 18 halls measuring around 200,000 m² at the exhibition centre in Munich Riem, as well as an outdoor area of over 400,000 m² of exhibition space. The planning, organization, implementation and follow-up of each event not only involves Messe München staff and external service providers, but also many other parties. Transparency and up-to-date information streams between Messe München, its partners and its customers are, therefore, indispensable.

A central data platform with Salesforce

Arlanis Reply assisted in setting up a central digitalisation platform based on Salesforce. With this, Messe München delivers a seamless user experience and achieved greater efficiency. Prior to the beginning of the project, the system landscape offered a variety of systems for individual departments and process steps within Messe München. This resulted in disruptions on data transfers and the decentralisation of customer data.

The system for managing trade fairs had already been in use for well over ten years and replacing this historically grown core system of the company presented major challenges.

The challenges

An interdisciplinary team to ensure the right user experience

It was important to get a complete overview of Messe München's existing and potential customers. In addition, it was necessary to map the bidirectional activities across the entire process chain, from marketing to invoicing. The vision was to deliver a seamless user experience and increase efficiency by unifying processes and the system landscape.

Based on these requirements, the project's core team consisted of employees from Messe München, Arlanis Reply and other partner companies. It was important to create the feeling of inclusion in the course of the cooperation, with a focus on comprehensive communication and collaboration.

Integration with relevant systems

The first step was to replace the two existing CRM systems and other databases that were operating in parallel.

In the new, streamlined system landscape, all relevant peripheral systems are integrated:

  • ERP system for the accounting of all order data
  • CAD database for event planning
  • Ticket system for selling, managing and invoicing visitor and exhibitor tickets
  • Partner commission system for settling commissions with sales partners
  • Connection to publishing houses responsible for the publication of trade fair catalogues

Scrum project management

The chosen development method was Scrum, an agile methodology, in order to obtain results in a timely manner via an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach. The Scrum deliverable was embedded in a classic integration project and the project outcome was delivered in a hybrid approach E2E. Using feedback from specialist departments and their key users, the ongoing iterations led to significant improvements. This made it possible to project the end users' actual requirements rather than just presumed requirements onto the respective development statuses.

The Salesforce Experience Cloud was used to create a portal for Messe München's sales partners to enable the international subsidiaries to manage their sales activities in Salesforce, thereby, obtaining a holistic picture of their customers and optimising their forecasts. The portal also provides partners with a high degree of transparency: they have access to further processing stages of each customer following trade fair registration. This means that, in addition to the optimised provision of conventional sales processes, we were able to create a far-reaching digitalised solution that also maps and seamlessly integrates all processes involved in the planning and management of events.

A sales portal using the Salesforce Experience Cloud

360-degree view of customers

Integrating the various customer-oriented company processes into the central system provides a comprehensive overview; from the first meeting to the follow-up services at the trade fair. Salesforce was implemented as the central integrated platform, mapping the complete customer lifecycle from lead management - before a trade fair - to invoicing, after the transaction was done. A variety of touchpoints with customers and partners are digitally tracked along the customer lifecycle.

The resulting transparency makes it possible for Messe München employees from all departments to use this information when addressing customers and to provide them with a consistent customer experience.

Project overview

True to its motto, "Connecting Global Competence", Messe München acts as a global networking platform and brings together decision-makers from all over the world. Messe München's portfolio includes over 50 of its own trade fairs for capital and consumer goods, as well as, new technologies that address issues of current social relevance. These include bauma, BAU, IFAT and ISPO Munich – some of the world's leading trade fairs. Every year, Messe München attracts around 50,000 exhibitors and around three million visitors to its more than 200 events. What's more, the IAA MOBILITY has been organised by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in cooperation with Messe München GmbH since 2021.

Messe München boasts one of the most state-of-the-art exhibition centres in the world and offers its customers four locations that can meet any individual customer requirements: the entire exhibition grounds in Riem, the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München, the MOC Eventcenter München and the Conference Center Nord. In addition to its home market of Munich, Messe München is also very successful abroad and it is active in all the world's major growth markets with a presence in China, India, Brazil and Turkey. All in all, Messe München is represented in more than 100 countries through its network of affiliated companies and foreign representatives.

Arlanis Reply specializes in consulting, planning, developing and integrating Salesforce solutions and services. Arlanis Reply provides market leaders with seamlessly integrated solutions for all customer related processes for sales, marketing and services – from the initial contact to the long-term service business. Arlanis Reply configures all common Salesforce components such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, Marketing Cloud or App Cloud, or adds individual programming with Heroku if required. With Mulesoft, Arlanis Reply provides an integration technology which allows you to develop, build, analyze, manage and monitor APIs and custom point-to-point integrations. In doing so, Arlanis Reply relies on agile project management methods and a project approach optimized for Salesforce introductions, which ensures maximum flexibility.