About 85% of trade shows have pivoted to virtual. The rest have been cancelled or re-scheduled. Just because the show has become an online event, doesn’t mean that it will be well attended or effective. On the flip side, some digital events have been quite successful, such as United Fresh Live. What does this mean for you, the exhibitor?
It means that you have to do your own homework to understand what the investment is and what you will receive in exchange for your investment. Then based on this information, decide if it is worth your time.
Ask the right questions to show management to better understand exactly what is being offered to every online exhibitor.
Just as everything in our world continues to evolve during the pandemic, technology continues to improve, production companies are becoming more experienced managing these events, and attendees are realizing that online events are the current solution to learn what is new in their industries since no events will likely happen until Q3 2021.
If you want to accomplish something at the online event that your show management is not offering, ASK. Do you want to redirect the links from your virtual exhibit to a more robust virtual exhibit that you partner hosts? Do you want to have an online ad on the event website that also links externally? Is there a sponsorship opportunity idea that you’d like to have? How about being included in the pre-show emails? Make a list of what is important to you and pose these questions to show management to see how they respond.
Perhaps the show won’t allow you to have the elements that you want. Then what do you do?
- Option 1 – You can wait until live events return (maybe Q3 of 2021)
- Option 2 – You can make the best of the virtual event that your show management is offering
- Option 3 – You can create your own virtual event, inviting your own attendees, promoting it with your own team, calendar invites, email marketing, and social media
There ARE options. And there is no right way to do anything right now. But are your current marketing efforts providing you the return you need? There are a number of companies that are willing to partner with you to help educate you and help you decide what makes sense for your company — your brand. Be sure not to judge every virtual event because of feedback you’ve heard about a different event. Treat each online event individually, do your homework, then promote the heck out of it if you decide to move forward. If you drive traffic to your online event, you ultimately drive awareness and business to your brand. So be sure that you promote EVERY event that you decide to participate in to help it be successful.