Recently, restrictions have been imposed on public gatherings due to the global pandemic, resulting in cancellations of events worldwide. With the change in scenarios, the demand for virtual trade shows and virtual expos has spiked up suddenly. In the past few months, the percentage of virtual trade shows has been increased constantly. The percentage is notching up with each passing day. Today, the internet is flooded with a variety of virtual trade show platforms that offer comprehensive solutions to deliver immersive experiences to virtual attendees. Live physical events hold their own value and are an integral part of a robust program strategy, but virtual events have closely replicated the same with increased reach, attendance, engagement, and wide exposure.
You all must have come across the term trade shows in the past and some of you might be the part of physical trade shows. But, you must be thinking what are virtual trade shows or virtual expos? Well, here is your answer: A virtual trade show or a virtual expo is an online event that is organized on a virtual trade show platform over the web. It allows exhibitors and sponsors to showcase their offerings the same way as physical trade shows. With virtual trade shows exhibitors or sponsors set up their customizable virtual booths with the help of an event platform service provider.
The attendees can connect and interact with virtual booth representatives in real-time via live audio and video chats. During a virtual trade show, exhibitors are enabled to organize a webinar. They share their sales pitch with virtual attendees of an event through a webinar at their trade show.
Virtual trade shows have many perks to offer that are far beyond the reach of live physical trade shows. The right planning and strategy are a must to ensure the success of your virtual trade show. In this post, we have shared the top 8 ways to improve your virtual trade show and strategy for definitive success. Let’s get started!
Top 8 demonstrated ways to improve virtual trade shows
We have enumerated the top 8 ways to improve the virtual trade show strategy for your upcoming event. Have a look:
1. Build networking & engagement opportunities
Integrate networking opportunities in your virtual trade shows to keep your attendees engaged with the event. Physical trade shows and virtual trade shows work in a different environment and attendees get engaged differently. In physical trade shows people converse with strangers and may even end up meeting friends. But with virtual trade shows or virtual expos, people are not on the physical ground where they meet people freely. An organizer needs to build and integrate networking opportunities for virtual attendees to connect with other attendees in real-time. Enable your attendees to have live audio, video, text chats, share stories, feedback, in real-time during the event. Apart from it, host Q&A sessions to gain audience insight and allow them to network seamlessly. Organizing live polls, surveys, breakout rooms, etc. are some other ways to integrate networking during a virtual trade show.
2. Start on Time
Starting your virtual trade show on time is a must to ensure success. People are likely to get impatient if events do not start on time. They will try refreshing the page, again and again, thinking of a technical error resulting in creating trouble for your virtual event provider. Furthermore, it may even result in causing unforeseen strains on servers creating major problems ahead. If you do not start the event on time apart from refreshing, people will either leave the event. If you are late, attendees may go offline as soon as they tuned-in. With in-person events, attendees might not mind waiting for some time for the speakers as they are surrounded by other attendees. But with virtual events, the scenario is completely opposite and people tend to leave the event if they have to wait.
3. Give an effective speaker introduction
An effective speaker introduction connects the virtual attendees with their personalities. Do a little brainstorming and work on your speaker’s introduction. Simply by reading someone’s bio won’t help much. Have a conversation with your speaker before writing a script for their introduction. Make your audience aware of the key traits of the speaker and why should they give their time and listen to them.
4. Look at your rehearsals carefully
Watching rehearsals is the best way to figure out the impediments and work on it to ensure event success. Watch the entire rehearsal as an audience before asking others to join in. If you are not finding the event engaging or getting confused figure out a way to fix it before your event goes live. If you find the script or presentations are elongated, break it into smaller parts to keep virtual attendees engaged. Virtual attendees get bored with long monotonous sessions incorporating games between them. Apart from it, make your presentations entertaining by incorporating enticing GIFs, video, images, and media to keep them engaged.
5. A consistent virtual event environment is a must
Sometimes a virtual trade show consists of many breakout sessions. To keep things interesting and evoke audience interest, the presenter often uses different designs and templates. But here is an alert, making too many changes may sometimes affect the audience’s experience negatively.
Make the experience seamless for attendees when they switch from one event to another. If they have to look for a feedback tab or ask a question tab every time it will make them frustrated and they will leave the event. Try to make the experience seamless for users so they can navigate throughout the event without any hassle.
6. Manage your communications
Manage your communications effectively. Send reminders for the upcoming events on time to interested attendees via email. It helps in increasing the attendance and registrations for the upcoming events. You can even send reminders to registered attendees just a day before the event along with a direct link.
7. Optimize your virtual trade shows for demographics
Apart from offering meaningful content to your attendees, optimize your virtual trade show booths for various devices and browsers. Virtual attendees may access the event from any device or browser, your event must be compatible with it. Take a step ahead and optimize attendee experiences as per their technology used for accessing the event.
8. Follow up your attendees
Follow up with your event attendees once the event gets over. Send them a feedback survey via emails and ask them to share their valuable feedback about what they liked at the event and what they did not like. It helps in gaining audience insight and measure the success of the event. Apart from it, it helps in making improvements in the next upcoming event.