You may be apprehensive about moving your canceled trade show to the virtual space, but if you want to succeed and break through the current economy, you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone. And, quite honestly, your biggest competitor is already doing it.
The good news is that once face-to-face trade shows are back up and running, the time and money you spent will not be wasted. In fact, that time and money will be well invested. Moving forward, all trade shows will include a virtual component, so your resources and efforts will be utilized multiple times.
While there’s no replacement for face-to-face trade shows, virtual events can be beneficial in a number of ways.
- You call the shots: Obviously, you still need to launch new products, train your team, and engage potential buyers. Virtual events put you in the driver’s seat so you can unveil your new product(s) on your own terms and on your own schedule.
- Digital marketing budgets are still going strong: Your trade show budget may have been cut, but digital marketing is in high demand. Consumers are on their computers and handheld devices more than ever. If you haven’t already, now is the time to pivot your marketing strategy and increase your digital presence.
- Longer runways: The money you spend now can be amortized over a longer period of time. When trade shows come back, you’ll re-purpose this content as your pre-, at-, and post-show marketing campaign.
- Dream it and achieve it: Get the trade show booth of your dreams. For the cost of a 10×10 booth, you can now get the digital island booth of your dreams. Plus, there aren’t any show hall restrictions or structural rules and regulations since its all digital.
- Design changes are quick and easy: Re-purposing your 3D environment is as easy as changing up the theme, graphics, and messaging. Each virtual event you host can look different while staying on brand.
- Spread the wealth: If there are multiple divisions within your company, distribute costs equally. Use the content from one event, make minor changes, and launch each division’s tailored event.
- Get sponsors: Sponsorship possibilities are just as extensive in the virtual world. Reach out to sponsors who were participating at your trade show and offer them the new digital opportunities.
- Cost savings: Since you aren’t paying for shipping, drayage, I&D, airfare, hotel, etc. the funds you “dog-eared” for your trade show now allows you to hold a virtual event of your own.
- Metrics / analytics: At trade shows, you only obtain the information your guest allows through registration and lead capture. Alternately, in the virtual world reporting and analytics track every move attendees make. You know how they got to your event, where they went, what they did, with whom they chatted, what they tweeted, which videos they watched, etc. PLUS, after the event you can send your targeted marketing campaign according to your user’s interests.
- Extend the party: Trade shows last anywhere from two-to-six days, but you can keep your virtual event open as long as you like. Adding new content will keep them coming back.
- Networking made easy: Some people are more social online as they can hide behind their keyboard. Attendees can now create their own online profiles, interact in event-wide group chats, and engage in value-packed conversations with other participants. Additionally, electronic business cards can be swapped with just a keystroke.
- Guest speakers: Guest speakers are a fraction of the cost as they don’t have to travel and can participate from the comfort of their home office.
- Global reach: Virtual events allow you to have a longer reach by connecting with prospects across the globe.
- Eco-friendly: You can feel good about the fact that virtual events help to reduce your company’s carbon footprint.
- Keep them engaged: Add an app to your event for a completely immersive experience.
If you decided that a virtual event is right for you, keep in mind that a successful launch takes 8-12 weeks of planning. Contact Skyline Exhibits for assistance.