Trade shows are cancelled. Events have been postponed. It is not a world any of us imagined a few short weeks ago. The custom trade show exhibit industry has been hit hard, but the power of face-to-face relationships will be even more valuable when we emerge on the other side of this crisis.
At Exhibitus, while diligently taking care of each other, we also are working to support our clients with the same resourceful creativity we demonstrate on a trade show floor. The opportunity to meet customers and prospects, promote a brand and its products, and continue to move a business forward has not been taken away. But for now, to do so means that virtual becomes the venue.
Virtual experiences can attract, engage and immerse attendees with services, products and solutions offered, in either a consultative or educational approach. By relying on the same expertise needed to capture the power of face-to-face marketing, these interactions can set the stage for future productive encounters. Expertise such as targeting, messaging, environment design and execution, engagement strategies and measurement services are all a part of our DNA, no matter the venue.
Leverage Creative Assets in the Virtual World
How do you take a physical, highly-crafted exhibit to the virtual world? Thanks to animation developed primarily in today’s gaming industry, it is possible to invite would-be trade show attendees to an on-demand event. Using flythough animation that guides a viewer through an exhibit, you can create an air of excitement and anticipation similar to a trade show floor.
Based on your goals and objectives, stops along the virtual experience can mimic the interaction an attendee would have on the trade show floor. These engagement touchpoints can include a variety of on-demand activities such as:
- Attendee check-in and welcome
- Product demonstrations by subject matter experts
- Live chat with a member of the staff
- Polling stations that reflect attendees’ interest
- Livestream presentations and town hall meetings
- Downloadable product information
- Request forms
- Customer feedback surveys
Metrics associated with these activities will provide valuable information for justifying investment to stakeholders as well planning your next event, whether face-to-face or online.
Existing content can be integrated into the experience so that viewers interact in digital format and tailor learning activities to meet specific needs or interests.
For companies that typically have large numbers of attendees come to their exhibit, holding a gathering using a “town hall meeting” format is popular. Town hall software provides an open forum for questions, discussions and short presentations based on pre-aggregated attendee inquires. In-booth engagement activities designed to excite the imagination of trade show attendees can be modified for these virtual events to ensure audience attention.
Extend the Experience Online
Once creative assets are launched for a virtual trade show, the same assets can be deployed in various ways to extend the campaign reach. Here are some ways to leverage content and keep the company’s brand in front of audiences:
- Virtual flythroughs and recorded demonstrations can become immersive videos on your website or video platform
- Images and video snippets can be promoted via Social Media to drive traffic back to your website
- Microsites and landing pages specific to the show content can be launched to target audiences with special log-in credentials to reinforce the virtual show interaction, or share with members who were not able to attend
- Metrics and insights gathered can be converted into infographics for internal use, or curated for content that can be distribute via email campaigns and other marketing methods
- Subject matter experts can be used to develop a company-sponsored podcast
- Product content can be integrated into informational webinars led by company representatives. Webinars, including the question and answer portions, can be recorded and made available on-demand to customers and prospects.
- The same content can be core information for developing white papers or eBooks that tells a comprehensive story of a customer’s experience with a company’s solution set or overall brand.
At Exhibitus, every day we are learning new ways to extend our expertise into the virtual world and help clients continue to connect and build relationships with their target market. The power of face-to-face marketing is not going away. As we wait for a safer world to return, businesses need to leverage that power beyond the trade show floor.
Contact us to learn how to maintain your market presence through the creativity of virtual experiences.