Exhibitions have historically been a great way to meet new people, new suppliers, obtain business and discover new products and brands. Sadly, the Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the face of how we communicate and trade and the events industry had to think quickly of another way to keep engagement alive, to allow companies to still trade and sell and that’s why Virtual Exhibitions are now so very popular.
So, what is a virtual exhibition… in a nutshell it’s the same as an exhibition just it’s all online and in virtual reality. You will get all the same benefits of a real-life exhibition – you can talk to customers, promote your services, follow up on sales leads all from the comfort of your home or office space. The technology used enable the graphics to be so rich in detail and can re-create the venue you may hold your usual exhibition at. Your visitors will experience a welcome lobby, exhibition hall to walk around, a resource centre and reception.
Now if you have exhibited in person before you will know that there are many factors to consider and implement, such as, uniforms, staffing, marketing of the event, promotional items, reading materials, and any hidden costs for the stand etc – but the bonus with virtual events you do not need to worry about any of this, there will be no added costs for carpets, extra promotional space, bigger stands, lucrative positions;
You pay one fee, choose your stand layout, select your brand colours, upload your company logo and include you strap line, include a couple of promotional videos, PDF brochures and choose if you want any additional paid sponsorship branding and there you have it. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Too good to be true? Well, it is true and these events are a roaring success, 2021 will see a huge rise in Virtual Exhibitions than ever before.
Why it would be valuable for you to exhibit at one… First of all, when will you ever get a worldwide network of visitors to your trade stand? Probably never because those people and businesses have to factor in the cost of travel, accommodation and the cost price of the tickets (if so), Virtual Exhibitions allow anyone from across the globe to log in, visit your stand and talk to you directly.
If you have exhibited before you will know that you have peaks in the day where your stand becomes flooded with people but you could only afford x2 members of sale staff for that day, the customers get bored and wander over to the next stand and never come back, well a Virtual Exhibition allows a customer to request immediate information, take a live brochure, watch a video show reel of products, search through a virtual online catalogue of your products and services, sit and chat to someone if they are available, they can even still ‘drop’ off their business card in the box for a call back, but only this time you won’t have the chance of misplacing them, or getting back to the office to update all the information on the system as this will all be online ready for you to access.
What to expect on the day… The visitor login will go live and all visitors will log in as they were walking into the exhibition and navigate to where they wish to go. Any staffed stands will go live with the 1-2-1 chats. If you have any offers you wish to extend on the day these will go live and all visitors will have access to this. Your product and services section will go live along with any downloads, links and videos. All you will need to do is sit back and watch your company soar at your first time Virtual Exhibition.
What happens after the event… Well usually you would struggle and have your army of staff there to help you set down the stand, some through all their chairs, cabinets desk away because they have no use for them or are simply too tired to pack them all away, you would probably then head back to the office and have a briefing on the event, which is sometimes hours long and all you want to do is go home eat some good food and relax. Next day you will probably update all the sales leads on to the system and that’s it, your event is over and start planning next years as we all know how long it takes to plan for a week-long exhibition. Well, you will have none of that with Virtual Expos and
this is the exciting part; the Expo remains open beyond the live days for further business opportunities which means;
- More videos downloaded
- More repeat business
- More traffic to your website
- More social interaction
- More products/ services sold
All your sales leads are generated online, and you will have access to instant chat transcript.
What are the key things you should focus on to make the virtual exhibition a success?
Ensure any branding, collateral and information regarding your stand is up to date and ready to upload so that anyone visiting your stand has all the information they require
Ensure you have at least 2 if not 4 attendees for the stand, manning the stand as a sole individual can be a challenge.
To get the best experience, you need at least one other to support the stand footfall, messaging and 1-1 conversations.
Make sure you take the time to attend the scheduled pre-event run through, so you understand how to operate your stand and feel confident in how to use the platform.
Make sure you follow up on your leads post event.
Enjoy the experience!
For more information about how we could support you with transitioning from live exhibitions to virtual. Get in touch today; firstname.lastname@example.org or 0330 223 3176