Recently, we utilized Facebook Questions to ask about your reasons for attending a virtual trade show. You responded in the following order:
- The sessions
- The attendees
- The theme
- The exhibitors
“The exhibitors” received zero votes, which tells us that while virtual trade show attendees will engage with exhibitors, that’s not the primary reason for their attendance. In this post, we’ll provide tips on how exhibitors can best connect with virtual trade show attendees.
Embed Yourselves in the Event Programming
Some attendees may equate virtual trade show exhibitors to the commercials that are inserted into their favorite television program. If that’s the case, become a part of the TV show! Inquire with the event host to see if your subject matter expert(s) can provide a presentation or lead a Q&A chat session. Alternatively, consider sponsoring a session that allows your same experts to provide a presentation.
Embed the Event’s Theme in Your Own Messaging
At a virtual trade show, your “messaging” includes your booth title, your booth label, your booth tagline (e.g. ticker message), your booth content and more. Remember that attendees are there for the sessions and the content – they’re not there to see you. As such, your messaging should incorporate the elements of the show – and, should utilize terms and phrases that your sales prospects speak, not the language that your company speaks. For example, if the virtual trade show’s theme is “The Art of Imagination,” consider using the phrase “Where Imagination Happens” in your virtual booth’s tagline.
Embed the Event’s Theme in Your Booth Content
While you ponder the event’s theme, closely review the titles and abstracts of the sessions. Remember, the session content is a primary “draw” for attendees. Based on the session titles, determine whether you have related pieces in your content library. If you do, be sure to include them in your virtual booth. In addition, consider developing content that provides perspectivescomplementary to the scheduled sessions – this could be as simple as a blog posting or a 2-minute YouTube video. Then, while a main session is “live” at the virtual trade show, you can recommend booth content (to your booth visitors) that is complementary to the session.
While it may be hard for exhibitors to accept, virtual trade show attendees are not there to see you! As a result, adjust your strategies and tactics, so that your presence (and your messaging) blends into the theme and topics of the event. If you do that well, you’ll naturally attract more interest from attendees.
Case Studies on Virtual Trade Shows:
- Making Travel Affordable: AAA Goes Virtual to Reach Members and Showcase Exciting Vacation Experiences
- Forbes Media iConferences: Virtually Advising Financial Investors and Advisors
- An Exhibitor’s Experience: Two Tales of the Virtual Fire Department Instructors Conference
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao