In recent times, we have all understood that the show needs to go on. Similarly, about the events industry, we all noticed their striking transformation to a virtual sphere.
With the latest developments, planners have got creative in terms of offering an impactful impression on the attendees or delivering a remarkable event experience.
Likewise, businesses and organizations have come up with innovative and customized solutions to let global audiences know more about their brands, services, and products via virtual trade shows.
Here’s a complete guide to virtual trade shows – ideas, tools, and best practices;
What is a Virtual Trade Show?
It is an online show with an interactive floor design taking place over the Internet or a secure virtual event platform. It renders endless opportunities for people to connect virtually and make new relationships.
Customization is the key to hosting successful virtual trade shows. With excellent branding, exhibitors can obtain numerous potential customers and can favorably increase the ROI of the event.
How to Host a Virtual Trade Show?
Set clear goals
It is vital to know the right reason for hosting any virtual expo, trade show, career fair, etc before you begin with the planning. To host a value-yielding online event, make sure to list out your event goals. Once you have done this determination, check if these objectives harmonize with the business needs. These determinants are the pre-deciding factors that play a meaningful role in ensuring the success of your event.
Understand your target audience
After you know the reason for taking your trade show online next, you need to learn about the audience. Find out who’ll be your target audience and understand their perspectives. The more you learn about your attendee’s viewpoint, the easier it is to create a valuable event.
Choose your virtual trade show platform wisely
An events platform has a valuable role in notching the level of your events. With the acceptance of the online format of events, it has become even more essential to include the best tools and features to enhance the level of your trade shows. Basic features of an all-in-one virtual event technology are;
- Customized abilities
- Secure and reliable
- Immersive 3D environment
- Detailed reporting
- Document sharing
- Multi-device functionality
- Networking opportunities
- Engagement tools
- Customer support
- Take a follow-up
- Social media integration
- Automation and branding options
With most of the features available on the platform, it becomes easier to create a unique event experience.
Promote attendee engagement
Engagement is an important aspect that can keep the attendees hooked and involved throughout the event. Event planners need to get creative while incorporating the features for the event. They can leverage tools like a social wall, a signature wall, or photo booths to make your online trade show even more exciting and entertaining.
Besides this, you can make the most of the live chat feature to encourage real-time communication between the attendees, speakers, or exhibitors. Also, there might be sessions that people would want to attend eagerly. So, consider leveraging on-event announcements to keep the attendees notified about the live and forthcoming sessions. Some of the best virtual trade show platforms also allow attendees to add the forthcoming sessions to their calendars.
Include networking opportunities
Networking is one of the essential reasons why many attendees or sponsors attend a virtual trade show. So, be very careful while selecting your online event solution. To promote networking, you can add features like business card exchange, B2B meetings scheduler, AI matchmaking tool, virtual networking tables, and live chat to promote 2-way interactions. At trade shows, exhibitors can also keep customized virtual booths to display their products, content, and offerings. It is an excellent way to reach a global audience at a time. Exhibitors can also keep accessible documents, videos, presentations, slides at their booth. It enables attendees to download this content and know more about the exhibitors.
Make way for sponsors
Getting attractive sponsors for your virtual trade show is a way to increase the ROI of your event. But, to draw more sponsors, it is essential to make them feel benefitted. To keep your sponsors happy, you can showcase their brand logo, content, or offerings via dynamic banners, large digital screens, distinguished stand designs, etc. With eye-catching designs and graphics, you can increase the visibility of the exhibitor’s content or offerings.
Market your virtual trade show
Marketing is the key to letting more people know that the virtual trade show is happening. You can create a compelling landing page enriched with exciting images, speaker clips, and exhibitor names. It is a great way to welcome more participation or registrations. You can employ social media tools like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter to promote your event. Create event-specific hashtags, write SEO-optimized content, and practice email marketing to eliminate missing out on any fresh joiner.
Check the technical aspects
It is important to perform a dry-run to ensure that there are no technical glitches on D-day. Make sure to check the reliability of the Internet connection and perform multiple system checks to avoid system crashes.
Besides this, you should always look for an ideal virtual trade show platform that is backed by 24/7 customer support. It ensures that attendees can get real-time assistance in case of any necessity.
Take a follow-up email
Event planners need to take a detailed follow-up from the virtual attendees to learn about their event experience. They can ask them to rate the overall event based on the features, tools, and platform navigation. A thorough follow-up will help them understand their improvement areas.
Insightful data helps event organizers gauge the success of the virtual event. So, it is important to choose your virtual event solution wisely. Platform providers can offer the count of registrations, attendee navigation data, the count of downloaded content, the hotspots of the event, and more.
Today, businesses have understood the importance of digital events and boosting their brand value. Hence, this is why, several online shows are being held globally, including virtual food shows, virtual property shows, virtual travel shows, and more. It helps brands display their latest products & their features, services, and content to a large range of attendees.