Virtual trade shows were once just a dream, but now they are a reality. You had to fly across states and countries to attend a trade show. A virtual trade show platform offers suitable digital space to host an online trade show.
The forecast for virtual trade shows indicates an upward trend. According to Markletic Event Research 67 % of businesses already rely on virtual events to complement in-person events. They fill the covid-induced void in the event industry. Online events appear promising. Don’t fret if you’re unfamiliar with virtual trade shows.
What is a Virtual Trade Show?
Trade shows are large-scale gatherings of companies, individuals, and sponsors to present their products, showcase new offerings, and expand their brand presence. Virtual trade shows aim to accomplish the same thing, except in an online format.
The standard things are present, like the exhibition hall, booths, and networking lounges. Like in physical events, an attendee can start a conversation with another attendee or interact personally with booth reps.
An exhibitor can showcase products supported by videos, documents, and more. Virtual tradeshow platforms like Sarcon allow exhibitors to personalize their booths, schedule text and video meetings with the representatives and even have e-commerce integrations.
Why Host Virtual Trade Shows?
Virtual trade shows enable you to tap into some unique benefits such as:
- Going virtual allows anyone from around the world to access the event. Virtual trades shows are genuinely global on every front. This global audience can skyrocket the brand’s presence.
- Virtual trade shows bring more participants and high-quality leads to the exhibitor booth. There are many ways attendees can connect with the participating brands and companies, resulting in a much more rewarding presence.
- In on-ground events gathering accurate data on the attendees, visitors, and leads is impossible. Platforms like Sarcon give you access to detailed analytics dashboards and reports, giving you much greater insight into how your event worked out.
Good Virtual event platforms provide several features essential to executing successful virtual tradeshows. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Virtual Exhibition Hall
The virtual exhibition hall is the first space that attendees will visit after logging in. The navigation of the attendees should be straightforward; they should be able to go to any of the rooms without the slightest idea that they are ‘lost.’ This same hall should have a help desk or info desk that can provide additional assistance.
You also need to ensure the Platform can have dedicated spaces for the sponsors. Does it have several different branding options available? Can the sponsors have their sessions? Special tickets to get exclusive access to sponsor goodies and so on.
The design is also essential; the 3d templates you can provide should be easily integrated into the Platform, and the platform vendor has a large selection of customizable templates.
2. Virtual Trade Show Booth
One of the most important aspects of getting it right. The booth for various brands and companies should be equipped with all the necessary features to give them an easy time engaging with visitors and collecting important info and leads.
Platforms that provide one-on-one conversations, chats, and meetings with the audience are essential. This adds the same feeling as a 1on1 face-to-face conversation addressing queries and issues in real-time. Features such as a chat box, meeting scheduler, resource centre, product gallery, and social media integrations also increase the chances of lead generation.
Platforms like Sarcon allow booths to be fully customizable with product placements, videos, standees, and more.
3. Reporting and Analytics Dashboard
While data analytics is widespread in the business world, why can’t it also be for virtual events?
With people coming in from around the world, how do you keep track of them all without some way to measure this?
You want a comprehensive data set with metrics such as demography, employment status, industry-specific status, and activity. Platforms like Sarcon provide real-time event reports. You want a platform that allows you to accurately measure, track and connect with potential leads generated during the event.
Virtual tradeshows connect global audiences, giving a unique opportunity for attendees to make connections worldwide. Attendees, firstly, should be able to exchange their virtual business cards through the platform.
Platforms like Sarcon offer real-time text and video chat features, breakout rooms, and dedicated networking lounges. Attendees should also be able to check the list of participants and connect with them through a meeting. Sarcon offers a dedicated networking lounge with exclusive chatrooms.
Unsurprisingly, audiences at a virtual trade show can be distracted and leave the trade show, given that they have to shift to a different tab. So, the virtual trade show platform must-have features to engage the audience.
Incorporating fundamental gaming features such as badges and leaderboards can help attendees interact dramatically. Even offering prizes to the attendees who engage the most is proven beneficial.
Some steps you can take before the event takes place:
- Send out pre-event emails and notifications to your existing leads and clients. Teaser videos shared on social media also work.
- Use the help of your platform provider to create a customized landing page. Here you can outline all the significant info about the event.
- Pre-event networking can be a great way to get exhibitors, sponsors, and other participants to get to know each other.
- In the same vein, pre-event polls are also very effective. They enable the exhibitors to filter their leads and give you as an organizer a comprehensive overview of your attendee demographics.
Some steps you can take after the event takes place:
- After the event, leverage the analytics to drive in more sales, generate more leads, and hold on to qualified leads.
- Follow up with personalized emails, thanking the visitors for attending. If you plan an upcoming event, keep them updated with the information.
- Gift incentives and coupons are another way to nurture any good connections made in the event.
- Utilize your Platform’s social media wall or virtual photo booths to connect with attendees on social media.
What makes virtual trade shows so very popular? For exhibitors, it is the higher lead-generating potential; for event professionals, more attendee participation, whereas the business owners and sponsors look at higher ROI, accurate data collection opportunity, enhanced brand presence and increased profit. On the other hand, attendees get better networking opportunities and chances for one-on-one conversations with business representatives.
Sarcon is an award-winning virtual events platform that delivers a seamless experience.