Trade shows are effective ways to display a new product for companies around the world. Since various customers, competitors, and businesses attend trade shows, it provides a fantastic opportunity for exhibitors to connect with new people. And that is why exhibitors want to give their best performance in these trade shows. But last year, with the outbreak of Coronavirus, followed by lockdowns around the world, organizing any event became impossible. And this proved to be hurtful to exhibitors and businesses globally. Since they were not able to connect with as many people like they used to do. So everyone started looking for a solution. And they came up with a solution, hosting a virtual Trade show.
What is a virtual trade show?
A virtual trade show is basically an online, 3-D environment meant to replicate the experience of a physical one. It relies on multiple engagement tools used by hosts and exhibitors to make visitors feel interested. The virtual trade shows became quite popular especially, in the time of lockdown. Apart from providing a solution to the looming problem, it also helped in making these shows global.
Advantages of hosting a virtual trade show
- Save money
Hosting a virtual trade show is way more affordable than a physical one. You can avoid lots of expenses. To begin with, you save money on renting a venue, food, travelling and printing.
- Ease of Time
In a virtual event, you have the option of recording the event and providing it to the audience as an on-demand option. It is valid for a virtual trade show also. Image the reach you can get with a virtual exhibition. Your exhibition can be viewed by audience weeks, months or a year after it was hosted.
- Global Audience
Since a virtual trade show can be attended by anyone from any part of the world, you get access to an international audience. With the virtual medium, you can overcome the geographical barrier, which is not possible with a physical event.
- Live Analytics
In a physical show, you cannot keep an eye on the individual attendee’s activity. But in a virtual trade show, this is possible. Analytics is the activity of an attendee in a virtual event. You can have it live or after the event. It really helps you to understand what is liked by attendees and what not.
Since a virtual trade show is digital, you don’t need physical brochures. It means you don’t need to print banners, pamphlets, brochures and other material, you save lots of paper. And you avoid wastage of paper, which is good for the environment.
Strategies to make your virtual trade show interactive
1. Choosing an appropriate virtual trade show platform
The success of the whole show pivots on the experience of your audience. And this experience can be controlled by the platform you will use for your virtual trade shows. If the software is too buggy, it will hamper attendees’ interest, they will eventually leave. So the platform needs to work flawlessly. Also, it should offer different features to make your attendees engaged and motivate them to explore the event. Now that you have selected an impressive platform, you need to use it effectively and efficiently.
2. Exciting design elements
Since the visuals and audio are going to dominate your virtual event attendees’ experience. So the design of the interface needs to excite the attendees and encourage them to take action. The interface should make your attendees feel as if they are in a real-world event. The closer the feel to the real-world event, the greater will be the response from the attendee. For this, you can use 3-D animations to create things like virtual lobbies, auditoriums, exhibition halls and lounges and so on.
3. Customizable Exhibitor’s booth
The most important part of a trade show is the exhibitor’s booth. And it is true regardless of medium – physical or virtual. But you must be thinking about how we can make a booth exciting in a virtual trade show? It is a good question. So let us guide you. You can provide various features to exhibitors so that they can customise their respective booths. These features include Dynamic Banners for displaying logos and branding. A social wall for social media promotion. Other features like creative commercials, coupon slides, announcements, and much more. These features will enable the exhibitors to include colors in their booths with which people associate their brand.
4. Reach Out to sponsors
Sponsors play a crucial role in any event, be it physical and virtual. The budget and reputation of any event can be directly linked to the sponsor. So you should reach to different sponsors and try to get as many as possible. A higher number of sponsors means a higher budget, higher will be the quality of your event. Also, sometimes the sponsors associated with an event can be the reason for an attendee to go to an event. After getting a sponsor, you need to make them visible in your event. For this, you can use features like Dynamic banners, social wall and so on.
5. Engage the attendees
The attendees visiting your virtual trade show must not feel bored at any moment. We cannot assume that attendees will be busy visiting different booths all the time. So, to keep them interested, we can use several tactics and features. These are
Use games to attract attendees. You can add online games to the platform itself. Or can link online games.
A leaderboard is used to display the score. You can ask your attendees to visit the sponsor’s booth or different places in your event to earn a score.
- Social Wall
A social wall is basically a screen that displays photos that attendees uploaded or anything about the event that they posted on social media using related hashtags.
- Live chats
You can also provide an option of live chat. This will enable the attendees to chat among themselves or with the exhibitors. You integrate different mediums like WhatsApp and Zoom into the platform itself.
Keep reminding your attendees about the different sessions, booths or speakers that they are interested in. This will keep them busy and engaged.
Now that you know that it is possible to host a virtual trade show. And how to host it successfully. Tell us your thoughts about virtual trade shows.