With the development of new and better technologies, the popularity of virtual events has seen a steady increase. Add to the mix stay-at-home orders and global social distancing protocols, and the safety, convenience, and practicality of virtual events have increased their use cases. For event planners and organizers, the good news is that planning a virtual event, like an expo or trade show, is much like planning the traditional, in-person version. All that is necessary is a few special considerations.[embed]https://youtu.be/eK9UdHC5v2M[/embed]Luckily, we have those considerations covered! Here is everything you need to know to create a successful virtual expo!
Before you can get too deep into the planning process, you will need to understand who will be attending your event. This knowledge will help you plan your marketing strategy and choose exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors that are relevant to the interests and concerns of your virtual attendees. This information will be a benefit to your participants as well. They will need to cater their content to the event and create the lead generation strategies that will be most effective. But where a physical event is limited by location and venue capacity, an online event like a virtual trade show or expo is something of a different story. Because these events are taking place digitally, it is possible to reach a global audience. So, consider this fact in your event planning and promotion. Try to work in elements that may appeal or accommodate a wider range of people.You should also consider having translation services available or, if you are having speeches or a keynote address, make that content available on-demand so it can easily be viewed in multiple time zones.
Once you know your target audience, you can finalize the goals for your virtual exhibition and begin putting together a list of exhibitors and sponsors. Each exhibitor will have the ability to brand their exhibitor booth and present themselves and their product or service to attendees in an appealing and clear fashion. Work with these individuals to help them get the most of the experience. To understand how to better support lead retrieval, see our post: How to Support Lead Retrieval for Exhibitors at Virtual Events. When choosing sponsors, invite those that share the same, or similar, target audience. The data you will collect at registration, coupled with the data collected throughout the online exhibition will be of great value to each of your sponsors. Knowing how your attendees move and behave when inside the exhibit hall will help them adjust future marketing campaigns and inform product/services development to be more appropriate to their audience. Consider advancing your goals by adding content above and beyond the exhibitors on the show floor. Adding additional sessions like virtual networking events, keynote speeches, product demos, virtual reality, or gamification.
While all steps in the planning process are important, event promotion is top among them. If you cannot attract people to your virtual event, you are doomed to fail. To ensure your event’s success, you should:
Virtual expos can benefit just about everyone, including entrepreneurs, small businesses, and contractors. Virtual attendees can engage with your event from the comfort of their own homes without having to worry about crowds, travel, or accommodation. Exhibitors and sponsors benefit from a more qualified audience, leading to more qualified leads as well as additional data points that can help them better nurture those leads. And event organizers benefit from lower overhead costs, increased attendance numbers, better and more useful data.By following the tips and considerations laid out above, you can ensure that your virtual expo is a success and everyone involved experiences maximum benefits. When you are ready to get started, reach out to Accelevents to see what we can do to help and support you in planning, marketing, launching, and hosting your virtual expo.