Region Värmland has repeatedly received reports during Corona about companies that have had difficulty reaching out when physical fairs and customer meetings have disappeared.

- The issue was also raised at a meeting for regional coordinators, where several regions confirmed that it is a challenge for companies with fewer sales channels. Digital fairs are also an opportunity for smaller companies, as the playing field is leveled compared to physical fairs, says Benjamin Amukena Nykvist, who works with export issues at Region Värmland.

Compare has therefore been commissioned to develop a digital toolbox to support small and medium-sized companies in Värmland. In a first step, four pilot companies have been selected to learn more about how to use different digital sales channels.

Test pilots see long-term need

The participating companies are Rydahls Bromspecialisten, AddExport, CWT Worktools and Askalon. All companies have expressed a need to increase their digital presence and competence, when international fairs and customer visits have been cancelled. At the same time, there is a more long-term thinking about restructuring, as Corona is judged to lead to permanent changes.

Markus Ryberg is CEO of AddExport, which works to help companies introduce their products and services internationally.

- The meetings we normally had took place via Teams during Corona, but the part when we were out at fairs on behalf of the customers has disappeared. The expectation is that the digital seminar can become a worthy substitute for the physical meeting at a fair. How to attract the spontaneous visitors who wouldn't find you otherwise, that's the big challenge, says Markus Ryberg, who also finds non-technical challenges interesting:

- I also think pedagogical competence is needed to broaden the subject, so that the visitor feels seen even in a digital forum.

Compare's project manager Peter Gunnebro hopes to get valuable input from the needs of the pilot companies. Photo: Petter Wåhlberg

During the pilot training, the companies will, among other things, learn to produce videos to present both the company and its products, manage live stream, chat and acquire knowledge of sound and lighting. Compare's project manager Peter Gunnebro will initially inventory the individual needs of the companies, the focus will then be on "learning by doing".


- Through that mapping, we can chisel out their current situation, conditions and future plans. After that, we make proposals for arrangements and tasks. I think it is important to find a golden mean of knowledge that becomes useful, says Peter Gunnebro.

Get virtual tour

He has probed existing digital fairs and prepared a virtual tour, to provide a frame of reference around what is required. In addition, he has collected some technical equipment and software, which the pilot companies can evaluate in their work.

The questions, challenges and lessons that the pilot companies make visible will then form a basis for more general training material that all companies can take part in.

- It could, for example, become the basis for a digital education, but the project will have to prove that, says Peter Gunnebro.

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