The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many industries into a “new normal”. With dropping revenue and antiquated sales models dying left and right, each industry must work toward a new way of doing business and doing it effectively enough during these unique circumstances.
This pandemic has forced businesses to work remotely, if possible, and to jump through additional hoops if allowed to remain open in a physical location.
The healthcare industry and the medical industry have been on its own rollercoaster. Considering that those in the medical industry, such as in-patient facilities, hospitals, and medical treatment centers, are still operating, medical distributors must still find ways to reach their client base and keep this essential service running. One way to do this is through virtual trade shows.
Here’s how the medical industry can find success with virtual trade shows:
Why the Medical Industry Should Pivot to Virtual Format
Medical innovation and B2B sales may be a little more pressing these days and the medical industry needs to rely on tried and true channels like hosting trade shows or a medical device exhibition to show off new medical technologies, medical innovations, and engineering advancements.
In these strange and difficult times, the medical industry needs to consider ways to pivot away from physical events into a virtual format to benefit their overall goal.
Virtual trade shows are a highly effective way of promoting a product or end goal, and B2B sales are still growing in this online format.
The medical industry benefits from physical events, allowing professionals to speak directly to medical device companies and suppliers, network with one another, and create B2B connections. But, this industry can find a shocking amount of success by hosting these sorts of events in a virtual exhibit space.
With the cancellation of most conferences and professional marketing events, virtual events can be incredibly helpful during this time.
Virtual event hosting platforms allow for this to be possible. These platforms can be accessed by an online audience from anywhere in the world, which will drastically improve the reach of a product to businesses that may have not had the opportunity or resources to travel to a local trade show.
Additionally, virtual event software can integrate things like lead retrieval data into CRM platforms and email marketing managers, and integrate with social media platforms, so any connections that you make at the event are automatically incorporated into your business continuity software.
Virtual Event Platform Features for Virtual Trade Shows
With the right virtual event platform, the medical device industry could host an extremely successful virtual trade show.
Virtual event platforms are designed to allow for connectivity, networking opportunities, streamlined integration, analytics, and smart web hosting all in one program. To give you a better idea of how a virtual event platform can be used for a virtual trade show, here are some of the features that make it possible:
To best understand how a virtual trade show is set up, you must consider augmented reality.
Not all online event platforms will use augmented or virtual reality, but in order to provide the best virtual trade show, they should!
An augmented reality set up will showcase each exhibitor, virtual booth, and a virtual exhibit hall in a digital format, typically as a virtual representation. Remote attendees can then “visit” the exhibitor booths that they are interested in, and then connect with those at the kiosk.
Medical device companies might want to live chat with the online attendees during each session, share a constant video stream of a booth at their own private location, or speak to them in an ongoing webinar format. As the exhibitors, they will have access to the online attendees’ data, so they can speak with those attendees at a later date, or integrate that data into their CRM.
Video streaming (live, pre-recorded)
Virtual events thrive off video streaming integrated neatly into the virtual event space. With video streaming, the event host can choose what to stream, where to stream it, and how to stream it (i.e., live or pre-recorded). Videos can be streamed as a conference or webinar style, and different videos can be streamed during different “sessions” and at different times.
The virtual event format will allow event organizers to develop an agenda that best fits the needs of the event so remote attendees from all over the world can tune in at appropriate times for their time zone.
Within each booth, the exhibitors would be able to post a video highlighting the product, showcasing unique design functions, use cases, and testing procedures. They could even have someone interacting with the products or services in the live feed so viewers get a better understanding of the products/services.
Live chat options
Exhibitor booths would want to have the live chat feature enabled so that they can speak with their remote audiences. Live chat can facilitate a presentation, a Q&A, a general chat, or polling questions.
Visitors should be able to privately message the exhibitor or presenter to follow up with sales or additional questions.
Ways the Medical Industry Can Succeed with Virtual Trade Shows
A trade show or industry expo is essential to how the medical industry operates, so moving physical trade shows into an online format is critical to continued progress. Whether the medical industry is looking to advance technologies or promote COVID-19 related products and successes, a virtual trade show can help facilitate this.
With a virtual event platform, professionals in the medical industry can either work on their own, with a trade show brand or with an event organizer to host a trade show that presents individual booths in a digital space. They could also branch off to host other online events with similar setups, like a virtual conference for medical industry experts.
Virtual event software is also extremely secure, so you know that you won’t be bothered by hackers during your virtual trade show. This provides added peace of mind for a potential online attendee or exhibitor booth host so that they know that their products, services, data, and ideas are safe!
Sponsors will still take advantage of virtual events, so don’t think that just because it is virtual you will have to front all of the expenses. Seek out a partner who wants to sponsor part or all of the event and focus on promoting their branding in virtual and physical public spaces, ads, or email marketing campaigns associated with the event.
While an event platform is easy to operate, an event planner may be necessary given the size of the virtual trade show. With a team managing the virtual event, the virtual event software can facilitate digital registration and ticketing, analytics, hosting pre-recorded and live event content, lead retrieval, marketing and event promotion, building an agenda, integrations, and more.
Futurize and Make the Switch to the Virtual Format
Switching to the virtual format is simple with Accelevent’s virtual event software. Virtual attendee engagement can be improved with our platform, providing an event experience that would be impossible in a physical venue.
Additionally, switching to a virtual format now, when the world is being forced to change, allows your business to expand and grow in ways that it would have been previously impossible.
By investing in a virtual event platform, industry professionals, associations, and organizers will be better equipped to host future virtual events. From a virtual annual meeting to an annual conference, an event platform is well equipped to handle these needs. The platform would be able to host an educational session for the lay audience or scientific sessions for industry experts.
Now that the industry is being forced into the virtual world, more businesses will be able to adapt to this technology and adapt it for future events. This means that when the pandemic improves and the event landscape potentially changes once again, these businesses and brands will be ready to host a hybrid event, cutting back on tech and venue related costs associated with these types of events.