Note: The following is a guest post by Max Kozak, Event Manager at INXPO. Max has worked with numerous clients on prize strategies for their virtual trade shows.
Prizes provide a great way to attain higher attendee engagement in your virtual trade shows. Prizes provide a beneficial relationship for both the attendees and the exhibitors. If they know there is “value” associated with their actions, attendees can be encouraged to view presentations and interact with others. Attendees know that the more interactions they have within the event, the more chances they’ll have of winning a prize.
The prizes do not have to be extravagant or complex; however, they need to be appropriate for the virtual event’s theme. You should decide on specific prizes well in advance of your event date. This gives you time to promote your prizes and include them in your virtual trade show’s promotions. Additionally, a point system should be configured that encourages the actions you’d like to see attendees take.
Make Your Point
The point system is a great tool that will allow you to determine which areas of the event you want attendees to frequent the most. If you want to showcase a main presentation or event space, you should place a higher point value on those components of your event. Additionally, you can generate additional revenue for your virtual trade show by selling sponsorship of selected prize items. Eligiblity to win the prizes could include activity (e.g. visits) with the exhibitor who sponsored the prize.
Make Your Show Memorable
Another benefit of show prizes is the ability to make an event more memorable. Prizes are one of the few aspects of an event that attendees remember for years. Clients often tell me that the prizes from the prior show were one of the most memorable parts of the event for attendees. Show prizes add incentives for attendees to try new features and watch new presentations that they otherwise would not have. Prizes drove them to these areas and this extra attention created more leads and better feedback for your exhibitors, which makes everyone happier.
My experience as an Event Manager has shown that virtual trade shows with prizes generate higher levels of participation. I highly recommend having a show prize to all of my clients, regardless of the projected number of attendees.
Show prizes are a great way to get attendees involved in the virtual trade show, at a minimal cost to you. They encourage attendees to explore additional areas of the show that they otherwise would have missed and generates more leads and interactions for exhibitors. And of course, it’s extra special when you happen to be one of the lucky winners!
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