Virtual trade shows are quickly becoming the new norm. Here is what you need to know about planning and what you can expect from the technology available to host safer events. Virtual booths may not hold the personality of an in-person booth, but it does offer some unique benefits that only a virtual trade show can offer.
Elements like rich media exhibits, instant contact exchanges between attendees and exhibitors, data and action tracking to show match marketing messages are most effective and ample branding opportunities for vendors.
Approaching a virtual trade show does take some “out of the box” creative approaches that vendors and exhibitors may not be used to. Setting up a table with gifts and gimmicks will not work the same way online as it does in-person. The approach to capture attendees attention must adjust to reflect the environment they are in.
Because trade shows exchange professional and sometimes personal information, it is vital that your first step in planning and producing a virtual trade show is security. Protecting your vendors, exhibitors and attendees information is of upmost importance. Ensure your platform and host can provide the level of security that your event calls for. First, it is important that they provide a secure web space with a HTTPS certificate. Second, a password protected element is a good idea for everyone involved. This keeps attendance isolated to your group and keeps potentially harmful outsides (or freeriders if your event is a paid trade show) out and unable to view content or interact with guest list.
Adding a NDA with your contracting company is not a bad idea either. While Event Solutions heavily secures it’s websites, servers, employs database purges and vets all it’s vendors/employees to a high degree, not all companies may do so or may not do so as thoroughly. Event Solutions is also happy to sign NDAs to help you be secure in the fact that your content, contacts and material is protected. All sensitive information is destroyed upon compilation of it’s use (i.e. after invites are sent or RSVPs are completed). Sensitive data is also only handled by a very select few persons of management level employment to ensure your information is in safe hands.
Because your content is moving from a physical environment to a virtual one, it is important to adjust accordingly. Business cards should be replaced with e-contacts that can be added to a person’s email contacts with a click. Text messages can also be utilized to send your e-business card directly to the device they hold close…their phones. Integrate calendars such as Outlook so that scheduling one-on-one meetings and demos for exhibitors is quick and easy.
On that note, exhibitors, vendors and hosts should provide professionally designed graphics and other quality content for the virtual trade show. High quality, well scripted (and edited) videos are an excellent way to display content. Consider creating “teasers” similar to commercial clips to get guests excited about the main presentations. Create fun supportive memes and gifs and encourage to share on social media to help ramp up both excitement and attendance (and in some cases, ticket sales).
Remember that if your event is more corporate in nature, to include some fun, refreshing elements such as games or humor to keep your attendees engaged. Scavenger hunts with prizes are always a great way to get attendees engaged and encourage a thorough review of the content (and platform) created for the event.
- Agenda & Event Goals
- Run of Show
- Software Requirements
- Content Creation
- Presenter Training
- Video Editing
- Audio Editing
- Technology Testing
- e-mail Communication
- Rehearsal & Run Through(s)
- Live Streaming Monitoring
- Technical Support
- Live Attendee Support
- Constant Communication
- Host & Monitor Assistance
- Event Data Collection
- Comprehensive Reporting
- Recording & Hosting
Event Solutions takes health and safety at events seriously. Learn more about what we are doing to make your events safe from communal illnesses like COVID-19 and other safety concerns.
While creating that wonderful content, keep in mind the displays you are working with. Some people may attend using computers with HD displays while others may be using small screens such as those found on mobile devices. Plan your content accordingly. This may mean a high definition image in full size for computers while a smaller, simpler design for mobile devices. Discuss your event and media requirements with your event planner. They can help you decide what will work best for your virtual trade show. We can even help you design a 3D virtual event trade show!
There are a number of existing virtual event platforms, but not all are designed for virtual trade shows. The very nature of a trade show, with its many elements, networking aspect and number of breakouts/displays needed (such as for virtual booths) rules out a number of the best virtual event platforms such as Zoom. It is simply too complicated for users to feel the “flow” of a trade show event on these popular meeting platforms. Instead, a built out web base for your event is often a better option with integration of several different platforms and virtual technology elements.
Event Solutions has a proprietary platform designed specifically for large events such as virtual trade shows. It creates an entire virtual environment that acts as a venue with pages designed as “rooms” and “booths” for your event. All your typical expected elements of a trade show are included such as a Lobby (information nerve center for your event which includes a help desk for those who may need additional technical support), Auditorium, Exhibit Hall, Breakout Rooms and even sections for bios, contact details, meeting scheduling, messaging center, chat room, file sharing, video hub (for clips and “on demand” viewing), and more. All elements are EASY to access with a menu. Your attendees won’t miss a beat with a scrolling marquee sign making announcements as well as an interactive timeline of events. Also included are games and interactive activities such as a scavenger hunt, DJ, team building activities and more.
Seeing is believing, and we want to show you that your virtual trade show can be so much more than a set of videos and web chats in boxes. To set up a demo with our team, contact an even planner today.
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