A virtual exhibit or trade show is
much like an actual show that requires careful planning, strategic marketing
and smooth execution. A virtual exhibit
can work as a main event or can be used in connection to a live exhibit for
additional hype and marketing.
Here are a few useful tips when
planning an online event:
Create an online registration that
provides visitors with an ID number to make it simple and convenient for them
to request for information about the event, the exhibitors and vendors instead
of making them fill out forms at each and every virtual booth.
If you are planning to use the
online event in conjunction with an actual exhibit, it is recommended that you
pattern the layout of the online exhibit to that of the live tradeshow. This way you can already provide virtual maps
for easier navigation and allow the visitors to search for tradeshow
information by at least 3 ways. These
could be by booth number, exhibitor or by product.
Have your virtual exhibit up at
least two weeks before your live tradeshow and offer printable coupons that
visitors can bring to the actual show.
Include special offers or discounts to visitors who show up with their
coupon. This could certainly help in
marketing your live conference.
Take digital photos of the actual
event and then upload them to your virtual exhibit which should run for another
three months after the live event so that visitors can make follow ups. You may even want to consider a full year
show to promote a live show for the following year. This could be a means to charge certain fees
to exhibitors who cannot make it to the actual conference.
Be sure to set up links to
exhibitor’s sites in a new window. This
way your site remains open even after guests have closed the company’s site and
you will not lose the traffic.