Are you looking for ways to host a trade show virtually? If so, you’re in luck! Virtual Trade Shows or Trade Fairs are a great way to connect with potential customers worldwide and promote your business. After all, the main objective of any virtual tradeshow is to exhibit & showcase the products and services of participating organisations.
With proper planning and execution, trade shows can be an invaluable tool for any business as they provide businesses with many opportunities that traditional trade shows cannot. According to IBISWorld’ report, the market size of the Trade Show and Conference Planning industry is expected to increase by 13.8% in 2022.
There are numerous advantages of holding a virtual trade show, including a wider audience, lower costs, more adaptability, and higher levels of participation. Similarly to a traditional trade expo, visitors to the online event can browse the digital marketplace at their own pace and according to their specific interests.
Organising a virtual trade show is no easy feat
When organising a virtual trade show, there’s much more to consider than the location and date. A virtual trade show format can be as simple as a virtual online website interface or as complex as an entire 3D Virtual arena. There are many moving parts; if one thing goes wrong, it can throw the whole event off balance.
Some of the biggest issues when planning a virtual trade show are:
- Technically inept and no tech support
- It May be harder to get a solid idea of engagement levels
- Content strategy is not optimised for virtual
- No proper channel to facilitate lead generation
- No Pre-Event & Post-Event marketing strategy
- Exhibitors do not have as many comprehensive features to showcase themselves fully
- No metrics for engagement to yield greater ROI
6 Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Trade Show
With so many things to consider, it’s no wonder that hosting virtual trade shows can be a daunting task for even the most experienced event planners. So, if you’re considering hosting a Virtual Trade Show, here are some tips to help you make it a success:
1. Use the best event platform
Formulate a solid plan to drive a virtual trade show results, working with the virtual event platform to do dry runs and explore features. Organisers need a solid plan because no pre-event strategy or event support during the event leads to stagnation. If the exhibitors & attendees feel that something is wrong or things aren’t working as they should, they lose interest, resulting in a poor virtual experience & decreased ROI.
2. Optimise the event marketing
Potential customers and audiences may reside in the most unlikely places, so it is up to you to make sure they are well informed about your tradeshow. Traditional marketing methods such as billboards, radio ads, and TV commercials might not be the most effective way to reach your target market for a virtual trade show. This requires going beyond existing email databases, socials, or websites; consider investing in additional channels, adding even Facebook & LinkedIn ads to get your event to the right people.
Additionally, create a press release and distribute it to relevant publications before the event.
The goal is to get potential attendees excited about the event so they are more likely to register and attend. Using a combination of marketing strategies, you can reach a wider audience and ensure that your virtual tradeshow is successful.
3. Introduce the technology to all participants
Ensure that attendees and event participants who are not familiar with virtual technology and trade shows have at least some idea of what to look out for or how they can best utilise the tools at their disposal. Any (pre or during the event) content or help desks available can tremendously help those who might be a bit stuck.
It is also vital that organisations presenting their offerings are well aware of the platform and its features. Things like interactions, product info, lead generation formats, booth details, and competitor data must be covered in training before the event.
4. Alter the content for the trade show
One of the most crucial aspects of successful virtual trade exhibits is the quality of the presented content. Always have a mix of content, including keynotes and session breakouts, invite sponsors and exhibitors for their insights, and ensure adequate measures are in place to network properly.
You can also engage push notifications about various details about the event and address whether speakers need training in how to acknowledge & engage the (virtual) audience.
5. Breakaway from the standard networking
While the products and businesses are usually why people attend a tradeshow, it is also a prime location for the network. The most effective trade shows are those in which the participants can connect and continue to share ideas.
Use the power of your virtual event platform to enable the connection between the attendees & exhibitors virtually with accessible virtual booths, live chats and networking lounges. Gamifying various elements throughout the event can assist people in engaging with the event, think live polls, games, leaderboards, and more.
6. Utilise Data for further improvements
Ensure your virtual event platform can track every touch-point of attendees. This will drastically help the organiser and the participating companies to know where people interacted with their offerings the most. This is precious data that can be used to make incremental improvements over time.
The right virtual event platform provides a long-term solution that gives you (the organiser) the freedom and power to finetune and nurture relationships with audiences and event participants.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure both parties have a good experience:
- Create hype about the event
- Allows exhibitors to get creative in their marketplace
- Give customisable exhibitor packages
- Provide sufficient training to exhibitors to take advantage of platform features
- Provide Pre-event surveys for sponsors and exhibitors
- Embedded links in Booths to Boost Online Sales.
- Provide exhibitors to improve brand reputation (coupons, giveaways, etc.)
- Post-event group chats for further networking
- Event platform that provides long-term benefit
Creating an engaging virtual environment for your exhibitors & audiences ultimately results in the ROI of the event. This is why it is not only what happens during the event that’s important to get right, but the event before and after it is done.
How you plan your trade show will reflect the overall impression you create. Focusing on what is critical will allow your event strategy to get to the crux of the matter, but using the right virtual event platform and taking advantage of it leads to a more excellent end product.
Virtual event platforms like Sarcon combine the best technology into a highly intuitive and easy-to-use solution that fits the needs of any type of event. Being a feature-rich platform, organisers can select and customise various aspects of the event and save on costs simultaneously. Some of the largest companies in the world, like LinkedIn, HP and MCI, have used Sarcon to power their events.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Let us know on social media! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more tips and advice on hosting successful online events.