Trade shows are good for business. They educate, raise brand awareness, build relationships, expand reach and… generate leads! By attracting participants who are interested in your product, trade shows pull in naturally vetted target audiences and create a productive selling environment.
With technology, it’s easy to measure the many benefits of trade shows, and the return on investment grows greater when sponsorship dollars provide financial offset. But, while all this proof is positive, what do we do regarding the ongoing COVID peaks and valleys? Can organizations risk lowered attendance, booth traffic, and sponsorship interest? Conversely, can they risk missing out on such mega-networking opportunities?
The solution, for now, is to reinvest in a virtual trade show.
First, let’s remind ourselves where live and virtual trade shows intersect:
- Exhibitor show “floor”
- Lead generation
- Marketing materials
- Educational sessions
- Sponsorship opportunities
- Social sharing, information sharing
Now let’s add some of the surprising added benefits of holding a virtual trade show:
- Cost Friendly – Big ticket items such as air, hotel, F&B, physical environment attributes are removed from the budget.
- Big Draw – Elimination of geography, time, and space constraints may attract a larger global audience with more diverse exhibitors and attendees. Additionally, lower exhibitor costs may attract new vendor opportunities and partnerships.
- Removed Constraints – With no more load-out days, content and various conference/marketing attributes can live on… allowing you to easily continue those conversations.
- Data for Days – Virtual conferences offer reporting and analytics that track many facets of attendee behavior, making it easier to nurture those leads, and measure ROI.
- Sponsorship Dollars – Bringing in a broader audience? Tracking attendee behavior and capturing leads? Use data and momentum to attract more sponsors and increase buy-in.
Remember to use the discovery, data, and expanded reach of your next virtual trade show to build-scale-grow your conference well into the future. Trade shows are irreplaceable when it comes to increasing your network and attracting customers – don’t let a year go by without being seen in the marketplace.