The global spread of the Coronavirus has brought exhibitions and trade shows to a screeching halt. If we see the data of the United States, we will get to know that almost 9,400 Business-to-Business exhibitions and trade shows were held in 2019, contributing around $101 billion to the GDP of the country. These were the events where companies displayed their greatest and latest products/services. Now, you surely have an idea of how much loss the different economies are having due to COVID-19. A huge number of trades shows, exhibitions, and expos have been either postponed or canceled.
Since February and March, we all are wondering when we can return to normal including the exhibitions and trade shows. While proper health hygiene and social distancing are there, we cannot even imagine the days of those crowded exhibitions and trade shows. It may be a couple of years (hopefully) when we will see those crowded aisles one more time. Well! When Corona is here to stay for a longer period, should companies stop doing business? NO! We are in the digital epoch. We all should think about virtual trade shows and exhibitions just like video calls and meetings.
Continue reading for more!
- The ‘NEW’ Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Just like we have adapted Google Meets, Zoom Calls for office meetings, the trade shows and exhibitions industry is adapting to ‘virtual’ events. With the right technique, these virtual exhibitions and trade shows can fill the ‘void’ as we fly to a leading convention city, check-in into a hotel, meet people, etc. If you are thinking of organizing a virtual trade show, then numerous companies are there to help you. The goal of such companies is to eliminate all those ‘pain points’ which include the inability to measure impact, poor audience retention, and lack of engagement.
The experience virtual trade shows provide is just like a high-end computer game i.e. rich graphics. Additionally, you will get the ability to interact with your customers and the experience is as normal as a high-quality video call. Your users will experience a resource center, lobby, exhibit hall, and everything that can give an experience like a live event. Some businesses believe that virtual events are more productive than live events. As per the Ben Chodor, the president of the Intrado Digital Media, ‘one of the benefits of virtual tradeshows is that it allows attendees to control the conversation and ask questions, increasing their ability to get the information they want.’
Furthermore, you can give award prizes and special offers so that your visitors spend more time on your virtual trade shows. See! Ultimately, you want to drive more traffic to your sponsored booth so your attendees should be incentivized and encouraged to join social media chats. For instance, contests with prizes can be a great motivation for your visitors to attend your virtual trade show or exhibition.
- The Experience of Your Attendees
The need for virtual exhibitions and trade shows has led to numerous advancements and new iterations of services and products in this industry and all designed to provide attendees with an experience that can compete with live events. Many industry leaders believe that the secret to the success of these events is to increase customer services to reduce friction. According to Tracy Judge, the chief connector and founder of Soundings Connect says that one of the roles we have seen emerge is a virtual event concierge. Customer service is part of the DNA of hospitality and event professionals. Our current focus is helping talent translate their skills and experience from live events to the virtual event world to make attendees feel comfortable. So, virtual events are all about the experiences that you provide to your attendees.
- Attend Virtual Events Designed for the People Who Organize Such Events
Do you want to know how events, meetings, and the hospitality sector are going virtual? Many platforms are there offering such platforms to businesses so that they can meet people who design virtual trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and meetings. There will be multiple sessions to attend where you can register for free and make the most out of the valuable information that you can use to adapt to virtual events.
COVID-19 is here to stay until the vaccine is officially available. But it does not mean that you put your business on hold when digital advancements are there. Go for virtual events and let your business get back on track.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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