Virtual Trade Shows: Best Practices and Tools
As the pandemic hit the world, one thing became certain, that any type of event can take place virtually. Virtual trade shows are on the rise and over the past year, all types of live physical events have been transformed into a virtual space.
A paradigm shift in the event patterns has been noted. Right from conferences to trade shows and exhibitions, all have been transformed virtually and bought directly to your screens. And to your surprise, the results are phenomenal with a 10X upsurge in event registrations, attendance, engagements, leads, and revenues. The virtual realms have opened the gateway for better accessibility, reach, communications, and endless opportunities
Generating more leads and earning more revenues without any tedious runarounds has become possible with virtual trade shows.
Hosting your virtual trade show with a Saas virtual event platform allows you to attract global attendees instantly. Additionally, it offers enormous networking opportunities for attendees to connect and network digitally and foster meaningful connections from their home comforts.
By now, it has been known to all that trade shows are just not limited to the on-site venues. But, it can take place virtually too. All you need to do is create the right strategy and leverage the right virtual trade show platform. And there you are hosting a successful virtual trade show.
The merits offered by virtual trade shows are many, right from enhanced reach, increased accessibility, better networking opportunities, and much more.
In this blog post, we will uncover the best practices and tools to create and host your virtual trade show your way. Let’s get started!
What is a Virtual Trade Show?
A virtual trade show is an online replication of a live physical trade show that is organized with the help of virtual event technology. A comprehensive virtual trade show platform enables organizers to set up a trade show in a 3D dynamic virtual environment. It offers sponsors better access to their potential audience globally, which is just not possible with physical trade shows.
Virtual trade shows work the same way as physical trade shows and can have everything. Right from virtual booths, lead-generating tools, engagement features, sponsorship levels, data-tracking capabilities, and much more, virtual platforms offer all.
With its enhanced reach and accessibility, attendees located in any corner of the world can participate in the trade show. It offers opportunities to attendees to connect and interact with sponsors, exhibitors as well as other attendees remotely right from their home comforts.
Virtual trade shows have become immensely popular with time and with the number of merits they serve. The need for booking travel tickets to visit the onsite location, venue expenses, exhausting planning, and so on gets completely eliminated with virtual trade shows. Moreover, increased reach, better accessibility, better lead generation, etc. are some of the benefits of virtual trade shows.
Key Advantages of Virtual Trade Shows
As we have discussed above, the benefits offered by virtual trade shows are ample. Let’s have a look at some key advantages of virtual trade shows, that help any organizer to upscale its play.
Enhanced reach and increased attendees
The major benefit of virtual trade shows is: It reaches attendees located in any corner of the world and captures qualified leads. The registration speeds up to 10x when you organize your trade show virtually.
With the flexibility offered by the event format, attendees can attend the trade show right from their home comforts via any device or browser. Lower registration costs, no travel requirements, enhanced visibility results in increasing your attendees’ size at the event and generating more qualified leads.
Additionally, making your potential attendees aware of your upcoming virtual trade show is just a click away.
Approachable to all
Some might miss attending a trade show due to busy schedules or household chores whereas some are not physically able to travel. But, with virtual trade shows, these issues get completely eradicated as they are approachable to all.
Virtual trade shows open a gateway for attendees to attend an event online right from their remote locations. Additionally, organizing a virtual trade show proves beneficial for sponsors as it results in increased attendance and better exposure. Many attendees attend an event remotely who otherwise would not have attended.
Sponsors are the heart of your event and decide your event budget. Virtual trade shows offer exhibitors better exposure than physical trade shows as they make them accessible to global attendees. Virtual trade shows enable sponsors and exhibitors to set up virtual booths, host sessions, engage attendees, and much more during the event. Thus resulting in generating more qualified leads.
Generate more leads
Virtual trade shows make it easy for attendees to interact directly with the exhibitors via virtual event tools. They can simply request to exchange information and schedule a meeting as per their preference. It results in generating more leads. Capturing qualified leads with virtual trade shows is much easier than physical ones.
Capture real-time data analytics
Virtual trade show platforms have data capturing capabilities. It tracks each and every attendee move right from the start till the event ends. It helps in measuring performance metrics and knows the impediments to work upon.
Best Practices and Tools to Host a Successful Virtual Trade Show Event
To ensure a successful virtual trade show you need to follow these practices and reap the benefits:
Select the right virtual event technology
Leveraging the right virtual event platform is the first step towards success. Select a platform that allows you to set up 3D virtual booths in an immersive custom branded environment. A platform that offers a list of engaging and interactive features along with integration facilities is the right pick. Make sure the platform you selected is compatible with all devices and browsers for enhanced user experience.
Create an effective strategy and plan beforehand
Plan beforehand what you wish to integrate into your virtual trade show for seamless delivery of an event. Create an effective strategy to attract and engage visitors with your event. Brainstorm and decide upon the features you wish to integrate into your virtual trade show to deliver immersive experiences and engage attendees at virtual booths
Brand your virtual booths
Customize your virtual booths as per your company branding. Bring the essence of physical booths to your virtual trade shows to attract attendees effortlessly. Right from customizing your booth with branding images, logos, icons, and much more, you can create a complete branded experience for attendees. Thus resulting in attracting more attendees and generating more leads.
Offer networking opportunities during the event
Facilitate your attendees to interact with other attendees and exhibitors in real-time during the virtual trade show. Offer enormous networking opportunities to attendees to connect and network in real-time. It allows them to ask their queries directly to the exhibitors during the event or by scheduling a meeting as per the preferred time slot.
Live chats, virtual networking tables, AI-matchmaking, etc. are some of the brilliant features that one must enable during trade shows for seamless networking.
Offer 24/7 technical support
Not all attendees are tech-savvy; some may face trouble while navigating through the entire virtual event. Offering 24/7 technical support during the virtual trade show makes the user journey seamless. It enables attendees to ask any question and seek help while navigating various aspects of the event.
Integrate engagement tool to hold attendees
Embed engagement tools such as live polls, surveys, Q&A, social walls, etc. during the event to keep attendees engaged with the event throughout. Additionally, you can gamify the entire event experience by integrating AR/VR games to keep attendees interested in the event.
Virtual photo booths will never be out of trend when you talk about engagements. Allow your attendees to get clicked with branded virtual booths and take the memory back home. Moreover, emoticon integration allows attendees to show appreciation for the event by sharing hearts or claps.
Reward your attendees with a digital certificate
Offer your digital attendees a digital certificate for attending your event once the event is over. It is a token of appreciation for their time and effort thus resulting in making them feel valued.
Offer sponsorship opportunities
One of the most effective practices to get the maximum out of your virtual trade shows is to offer enormous sponsorship opportunities to sponsors by offering discount packages and so on.
Leverage the right promotion channels
Promote and market your upcoming virtual trade show in the right way. Leverage the power of popular social media platforms to promote the event before the actual date. Additionally, you can even send reminders, emails to registered attendees. Make your event popular by reaching out to sponsors and exhibitors participating in the event to do word-of-mouth marketing.
Wrapping it up
Virtual trade shows are on the rise and have become phenomenally popular over the past few years. It won’t be wrong to say, the majority of trade shows are about to take place virtually in the near future. As it keeps us prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances like today where the world is locked indoors due to the pandemic.
Additionally, it offers enormous benefits to exhibitors and sponsors that are far beyond the capabilities of in-person trade fairs. However, organizing a virtual trade show can be challenging for some. In the above-mentioned article, we have listed the best practices and tools to get the maximum out of your virtual trade shows. I hope it will help you to get the maximum out of your virtual trade shows!