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How to Make Virtual Trade Shows Work

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During the pandemic, we’ve seen more and more businesses move their events onto virtual platforms. Even with Covid-19 drawing to a close, virtual events like virtual conferences and conventions will continue to be increasingly common. 

However, many people find it challenging to understand how to make  a “virtual trade show” work. After all, isn’t the whole point of trade shows  to let people interact with physical objects and network freely? In that sense, it seems like virtual trade shows are doomed to be one kind of virtual event that doesn’t take off.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, there are numerous ways to use virtual platforms to make your virtual trade show work. 

Wait, What’s a Virtual Trade Show?

A traditional trade show provides members of an industry with an opportunity to  showcase their latest products and services as well as network with other members of that industry. 

On the other hand, a virtual trade show tries to provide this whole experience in an online setting. Virtual trade shows try to mimic the “walk and browse” feel of their physical counterparts by compartmentalizing different products into different areas of their virtual platform. Virtual trade shows will often include other virtual events with which attendees can interact such as virtual conferences or multimedia displays. 

How to Make Virtual Trade Shows Work

So, why the skepticism around virtual trade shows? Many live trade show veterans believe that there is no way to fully replicate the “experience.”  While it’s true that a virtual trade show  doesn’t allow you to directly touch and interact with items on a showroom floor (at least not yet!),there are a couple of techniques you can use to mimic and enhance the experience.

Firstly, there are many virtual platforms that allow you to create a “virtual” trade floor for attendees. This presents attendees with a 3D “mock-up” of a convention center when they access the virtual platform – perhaps even with the ability to make their own avatar to navigate the floor. This addition of style to the virtual trade show keeps people engaged.

Boost Your Virtual Trade Shows With Webinars 

The second method involves not just trying to replicate the physical trade show format, but using your online platform to shake things up. Moving online opens up the floor to more speakers hosting webinars available through your virtual platform.

It’s also important to think of the ways that webinars can bring something totally new to your virtual trade shows, rather than just serving as a “replacement” for physical conferences. With the best interactive webinars, you can run quizzes, take polls and quickly disseminate downloadable materials (which is much more convenient and environmentally friendly than paper handouts!). 

Webinars let you pull a much wider range of speakers and audience members than a regular virtual trade show. The move to virtual events shouldn’t be seen as a challenge to overcome – it’s an opportunity. 

Live chat features allow attendees to ask questions without having to worry about the person right behind them waiting his or her turn. Imagine the power of getting an answer to a question, having time to do some online research and then coming back for follow-up questions to help you make a decision faster about a particular product or service. And, then, having the ability book a demo on the spot

Get the Best Webinar Software

Whatever industry your virtual trade show falls in, it’s important that you have great-looking, engaging webinars for your attendees. When it comes to getting the audience invested, there’s no one better than Engage. Contact us today for enterprise-quality webinars at affordable prices. 

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