CIO Peer Forum 2022 – A Virtual Expo Case Study

virtual expo case study - CIO Peer Forum Lobby

The CIO Association of Canada is a non-profit community and the representative body of CIOs, CISOs, and IT executives of Canada. Its mission is to foster networking, sharing of best practices and executive development, and collaboration on major issues faced by the IT community. CIOCAN’s Exhibition, the CIO Peer Forum, is a dynamic community event for IT professionals. 


This year’s exhibition hosted on Samaaro aimed to bring the community together to share the latest trends, provide opportunities for thought leaders to learn about new developments in the field, and enable attendees to network with colleagues. Read the virtual expo case study to understand how our event management solutions helped them achieve these event objectives.


Project Info:

virtual expo - CIO peer forum info desk

Client: First Stage

Organizer: CIOCAN

Category: Virtual Expo

Date: 26th April – 30th July



  1. First Stage was looking for a highly scalable online engagement platform for their community and sponsors. The platform would be live for 3 months and see participation from over 5,000 members and about 250 sponsors.   
  2. The registration forms were to be customized to capture the interest of the community and connect them with members of similar interests and relevant solutions from sponsors.   
  3. Further, since security was of prime importance, members would be authenticated via OTPs on emails and phone numbers. Due to a large number of exhibitors and solution providers, an intuitive search option was required for the members to find specific products with ease. As this was a long-term engagement, it was critical that the platform was device agnostic and offered an equally seamless experience across all devices, and was optimized for mobile.  
  4. To nurture the community, a 360-networking solution was a prerequisite to enable members to find relevant people and participate in discussions.    
  5. Further, to keep the engagement flowing and avoid monotony, regular online sessions were important with a free-flowing discussion between the speakers and the attendees.   
  6. Lastly, to measure the success of the project and to estimate the leads generated for their sponsors, a state-of-the-art analytics dashboard was expected from the platform that would offer real-time insights with the option to download reports whenever necessary.  



User Registrations

A comprehensive registration process was set up including a detailed page with member information such as their names, designations, areas of interest, the objective of participation, etc. Upon completion, participants received an automated email with an OTP for logging into the platform. Since this was a paid event, to streamline the check-out process and ensure successful transactions, multiple payment gateways were integrated into the registration page that offered payment receipts. 


User Profile

An important aspect of the long-term engagement was to provide members a facility to continue from where they left off after the previous session. This was made possible by introducing a panoramic “My Profile” section for the members. The “My Profile” would offer them a space to view all their activities on the platform such as the sessions they’ve bookmarked, the documents they’ve downloaded, the products they have wishlists, connections made, chats with other members, and their meetings scheduled. 

Discovery Platform

The key highlight of the platform was for the attendees to find solutions for their businesses. Since close to 250 exhibitors offered more than 3000 solutions, an intuitive find and search feature was implemented. The feature allowed the members to apply various filters that were relevant and could also search the products/solution providers via specific keywords such as “Cloud service provider”. Upon finding the solution relevant to them, the members could explore the products or check out the seller profile and find more products from the seller.

Once the visitors entered the booths, leads would be captured automatically. Buyers would get information such as their names, company, designation, and contact information. Further, based on the actions the members performed on such booths like downloading catalogs, checking out products, or watching videos would add to their lead score and intent All of this information was captured for the sellers to nurture the leads more effectively. Being a long-term engagement, sellers would be notified via emails whenever a new member visited their booths or performed an action like booking a meeting or initiating a chat. 

As mentioned, each booth was loaded with a plethora of touchpoints. While “CTAs” like wishlists, inquiry forms, and chats were readily available. To transform the platform into a lead generation machine, the platform also offered an important feature viz. Meeting Scheduler. With the feature, the members could book a meeting with any member of the booth based on their availability. Once a meeting is booked, each stakeholder would be notified and could join the meeting on the platform. 

To attract more members of the community and to continuously engage the existing members on the platform, Auditoriums were set up to provide continuous knowledge and information to participants, with recordings from previous sessions played during on-site break sessions. The proceedings from the on-site sessions were streamed live within the auditoriums. Auditorium also offered the members to actively participate in the discussions via polls, quizzes, and Q&As. 


AI Match-Making

The platform also offered opportunities for conversations and discussions beyond the trade, with the addition of a networking lounge and meeting rooms. Global chatrooms based on various IT and industry topics were made available for attendees, and for those seeking to just meet new people, an AI matchmaking feature was provided that would connect them with people of similar interests.  

Mobile Optimized

To increase accessibility, the platform was optimized for mobile and other devices.  To achieve this a separate 2D interface was developed for people to access the platform on the go.


Data Dashboard

The analytics dashboard offered real-time insights into the event. As per the client’s request, day-to-day attendance data was made available for them. From the dashboard, organizers could check each day’s data.



The multi-day virtual expo recorded a high engagement rate and active participation from the attendees in the sessions. The organizers were elated with features like Lead Generation, AI Match-Making and Responsive Design. The solutions we offered proved to be highly effective in achieving the event objectives. 



We hope that the virtual expo case study has offered you some actionable insights that you can utilize in your next event. For more in-depth discussion and suggestions, get in touch with us for an expert chat. Samaaro is an all-in-one event technology platform  helping clients host successful virtual and hybrid events and reach their business goals. Book a free personalized demo tour today.