Virtual Tradeshows — are they so “yesterday”?

B.J. Enright, President

The digital aspects of your event are even more critical today than they were five years ago.  By “digital aspects”, I mean all of the things that you do online in conjunction with your event — be it engaging your audience through social media, webinars, live broadcasts, or engaging with your exhibitors.  Every live event today has digital components.

The strategy behind how you implement all of these elements to extend your event 365 days a year can both grow your live event and enhance your existing event.

The opportunities/ways to engage your exhibitors digitally are many.  One option can be to utilize a platform that resembles a live tradeshow with actual virtual exhibits (and webinars, live broadcasts, etc.).

Regardless of the platform you choose, the strategy for obtaining the audience and delivering great content to the audience is mission critical.  If you build the audience, your exhibitors will want to engage with them.

The fun begins as you develop the tactics to engage your members and suppliers using all of the digital tools available to you (chat rooms, webinars, live broadcasts, hosted webinars, sharing videos and other content, etc.).

The technology platform that you choose should be one of the last steps in the process.  It’s the “how” you deliver the content and create engagement, not the “what.”  Your decision about what technologies and/or platforms to employ will become infinitely easier once you have determined how you’re going to attract and engage attendees (in person and online), what digital/live content components you will have, and how your supplier community would most like to engage with your live/digital audiences.

To me, the digital components of your event are just one part of your overall live event strategy. The live event occurs in a single facility at a single point in time, but you can extend the life of that event before, during, and after the physical event with all of the exciting digital tools and tactics available to us today.

Have fun!