Trade Shows used to be one of the most popular and profitable events in the pre-corona age. They gained the audience’s attention way before the final date of the event. However, the pandemic emerged and changed the way people perceived the concept of events. Trade shows are still a thing of eminence, except that now they have gone virtual! Event planners came up with an innovative idea to have the event industry enter the Virtual Trade Show world and create absolute magic with a unique blend of events and modern technology.
What is a Virtual Trade Show?
A trade show ideally occurs on a show floor but when the event goes virtual, the same happens over a screen. With the help of virtual event technology, we can successfully simulate a physical trade show event on a virtual event platform. A Virtual Trade Show can have all the essential elements like virtual booths, sponsorship tools, lead tracking, networking tools, etc. Apart from bringing together multiple online facilities, it also helps in offsetting the costs and maximizing profits. All in all, Virtual Trade Show is like a common way to success for all, be it the organizers, exhibitors, sponsors, or attendees.
Even though we have successfully combated the challenges that arose because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are still a lot more difficulties to be eliminated to ensure a successful virtual event. Let’s explore some of the top curated ideas to make the most out of your Virtual Trade Show.
Best Ideas to Make Your Virtual Trade Show a Success
1) Find the Right Virtual Venue Partner
Choosing the right virtual event platform for your virtual trade show is one of the most important steps. The idea is to ensure that the virtual venue partner you choose, provides you with all the essential requirements to host a successful event. In the process of executing a virtual trade show, there are so many tools that you need to render your attendees with a great event experience. The right virtual venue partner will understand your necessities and efficiently incorporate all the elements, making the event a success.
2) Create Event Buzz
Creating a buzz for your Virtual Trade Show before the event will not only work hand-in-hand with the information sharing but also the engagement strategy of your show. You can create a targeted teaser communication with your audience to introduce the exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors of your virtual trade show. This idea will attract your target audience and increase your reach.
3) Design Exceptional Booths
Designing the platform layout and booths will help your attendees have a better event experience at your virtual trade show. You can create attractive expo booths that essentially display necessary browsable information for your attendees. You need to bring all the physical venue elements to the virtual platform. The right virtual venue partner will provide you with the opportunity to customize the venue or booths according to your requirements. You can further allow your exhibitors to design their booths and display branding, logos, coupon slides, advertisements, sponsors, etc.
4) Strategize Engaging Content
As we move from the physical to the virtual format of hosting a trade show, keeping the audience engaged becomes even more significant. In the case of hosting a virtual trade show, your attendees are just a click away from leaving the event. Therefore, you need to make sure that they feel engaged and involved throughout the event.
Optimizing the content that is to be presented in the virtual venue is another significant idea. While structuring the content, remember the expectations of your attendees. This element includes everything from the images, videos, or banners visible on the platform to the content your exhibitors share.
Adding gamification tools will further elevate the engagement opportunities for your virtual trade show. A virtual event platform provides you with the opportunity to incorporate advanced gamification elements like live polls, Q&A Sessions, contests, etc. The attendees who win can also be rewarded with online coupons or exciting offers, etc.
6) Bring On Board Excellent Sponsors
Bringing onboard valuable sponsors can help you maximize the success of your trade show. Sponsors aim to promote their products and services and with their help, you can make your event even more engaging. Including elements like sponsored swag bags, sponsored meals, sponsored jam sessions or sponsored coffee breaks will not only fulfil your sponsors’ goal to increase their reach but also motivate your attendees to be involved in your virtual trade show.
7) Create Better Networking Opportunities
Your audience always has the expectation to generate better leads, increase their reach, and network with their fellow participants. Similarly, your exhibitors are too looking forward to promoting their trade and presenting their services to the attendees. However, if they are not provided with enough networking opportunities, they will feel disappointed with your trade show.
So, ensure the availability of great networking opportunities at your virtual event by incorporating efficient networking tools. Many virtual event platforms render tools like meeting scheduler, breakout sessions, AI matchmaking, etc. With Dreamcast’s B2B meeting scheduler, your attendees can book meeting slots with exhibitors or other attendees anytime preferred by them, even if it’s after the event. Also, the AI matchmaking and detailed searching filter tools help your attendees find their possible allies based on their personalized preferences.
8) Display Social and Signature Walls
A social wall curates and combines all the social media posts shared by your attendees in a single wall. Similarly, a signature wall provides your attendees with the opportunity to sign or leave notes over a common wall visible to all. The idea of displaying social and signature walls on your virtual trade show platform will not only maximize your event’s reach but also work as an efficient engaging element for your participants.
9) Send Out Curated Swag Bags
Who doesn’t like gifts and goodies? You can have your exhibitors send out curated swag bags to the attendees to increase brand awareness. This idea can always work like a charm for your virtual trade show. It will not only fulfil your exhibitor’s goal of widening their reach but also entice your audience.
10) Embed Important Links
While hosting a virtual trade show, embedding links is the easiest way to capitalize your virtual presentation and boost your trade. For example, when an exhibitor has a viewer’s attention, they can direct the attendee from presentation to the product instantly, so they don’t lose interest in the product. This is one of the most effective ideas to convert your attendee’s excitement about the product into an instant sale.
11) Browsable Digital Catalogue
A captivating and easily accessible digital catalogue can be a great support to your virtual trade show. You can build an interesting gallery with all the products, services, demos, resources, tools, and all the other important documents available on the platform. Another idea is to create filters for your attendees through which they can search by categories and types of the available product and services at your trade show. This browsable digital catalogue can be an efficient way to display exhibitor’s content.
12) Training and Testing
Training your exhibitors can result in better performance of their trade as well as your event. One thing your exhibitors expect while booking a booth is to generate great leads. A virtual event platform includes countless tools that aim to enhance your participant’s user and event experience. But what if your exhibitors are not aware of these tools? Being the organizer needs to ensure that your participants are well-versed with the available tools.
Similarly, testing all the tools of the platform is equally important to have the assurance that there is no network issue or glitch in the system. To provide your attendees with a great event experience, you should ensure that your event execution has a smooth flow.
13) Access and Track Real-Time Data
Keeping a track and record of all the event data help you in multiple ways. You can not only use them to analyze your event’s performance but also your attendee’s footprint. Through this tool, you can understand which were the attendee hotspots and which strategies were the most effective ones. These records can also plan and strategize your future events. Keeping a track of all the impressions and data is a significant step in the overall process of executing your virtual trade show.
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