Trade shows are the ideal place to launch new products, attract buyers and gain new investors. Even in 2018, B2B business exhibition market value stood at 34.4 billion U.S dollars and was expected to reach 40 billion by 2023. However, since last few years, business owners have banked on virtual trade show platform to generate new leads, increase their customer reach and connect with potential partners in the industry.
Virtual trade shows too have evolved in scope and range in the last few years. Traditional exhibitor booths, exhibit halls have gone through sea-change. Exhibitors now have more control of how they want to present their products to the attendees. Furthermore, to boost engagement, and ensure an overall active participation, virtual trade show platforms are devising innovative ways. Their importance can be gauged from the fact that most companies nowadays allocate 10-20% of their budget to virtual events. However, before you jump into the bandwagon, we offer your five major features of an ideal virtual trade show platform so that you can make an informed decision.
As you might have guessed already, the key to a successful virtual event is how well the virtual trade show software can translate the real-life experience into the virtual world. For instance , it has to be immersive to engage the potential investors and draw in new customers.
There are a few ways virtual events platforms can render a physical experience in the digital space. Let’s dive right in to see how-
The sprawling exhibit hall is a key feature of any trade show or expo. This is where all the booths are lined up. In a virtual trade show, too, this may be landing space for your customers after they log in. Needless to say, this is an important segment to make a striking first impression.
Exhibitors rely on trade shows to promote their products, so you can stay assured that they are putting their best in the exhibit booths. As a host, it’s your job to drive attendees to visit them. You must make sure that the virtual exhibit hall is easily visible from everywhere. In addition to that, the exhibit hall should be easily navigable.
Look for a virtual trade show platform that offers interactive 3D exhibit halls emulating a real event. It must also have a space designated for your sponsors, at least, for the major ones.
Virtual exhibitor booths mean greater profit and lesser hassle. As it is virtual, exhibitors don’t need to bother about logistical problems of setting up a booth- not to mention the time and money they save with this.
If you are holding an international trade expo, chances are there will be people swarming in and out in bursts. Crowd management used to be a major setback for in-person events. However, as that is not the case here, exhibitors expect to have fruitful business conversations with visitors in virtual events.
So, you must pick a platform that offers a bevy of high-tech features for a seamless client interaction. Features such as chat box, meeting scheduler, resource centre, product gallery, social media integrations add value to attendee’s experience. Host your event on a platform that can handle the constant ebb and flow of traffic in the virtual exhibitor booths.
One primary reason why companies are preferring virtual events is the sheer amount of accurate data they can mine. Earlier, it was well-nigh impossible to pin-point exact data points after hosting an event. However, with smart virtual trade show platforms, it is easier to track the digital footprint of each attendee.
Analysing data can offer you better insight and metrics to measure the impact of the trade show. By looking at demographic data and the preferred booths, you can target a specific set of people for your next event. Primary goal of events is to generate business opportunities. With a powerful trade show platform, you can accurately measure, track and connect with potential leads generated during the event to drive sales.
It is essential that virtual exhibition platforms have an in-built analytics dashboard. Additionally, having real time data at your disposal is a potential game changer in business intelligence. You can also generate a report at the end of the virtual exhibition
This one is a no brainer. We all know the crucial role networking plays in enriching one’s professional career. Growing their reach in the industry is the second most important reason for attendees to participate in a trade show, the first being educational purposes.
A comprehensive virtual event platform will offer live chat features, video chat features so that attendees can interact with each other. Attendees should also be able to exchange business cards with other attendees that they want to stay connected with, even after the event ends. A dedicated space like the Networking lounge with agenda specific chat rooms brings together like-minded people who can interact with each other. Moreover, if you are planning to include short conference sessions, your virtual trade show platform should be able to live stream it and allow attendees to ask questions to the speakers.
Studies show us, human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds -shorter than that of a goldfish- in the past twenty years, courtesy of unbridled use of gadgets. So, it is very likely that the attendees at a virtual event are more likely to get distracted (given that they are just a browser tab from the entire internet).
However, incorporating tools of game design in business areas, in short gamification, offers a ray of hope. Gamification, to put it simply, relies on human tendency to either compete or collaborate to achieve a task.
Although, it’s no panacea, simple rewards like conferring a badge, levelling-up, showing names on leaderboards have shown to have increased engagement, influence and participation rate. A survey report reveals that 59% of virtual trade show platforms are relying on gamification to retain attendees and increase the participation rate via polls, quizzes and other interactive tools. As per the same report, a whopping 81.8% of virtual event organisers and 71% of marketers use polling to keep the audiences engaged to the event.
These are the five most important points to keep in mind while choosing a virtual trade show platform. Higher ROI, enhanced client experience, increased reach, and amplified brand value are some of the manifold benefits that a virtual event platform can offer. We hope that our brief yet comprehensive points will help you make an informed decision. Planning to host a virtual trade show in the coming months? Try Samaaro- the best virtual trade show platform.