6 Tips to Creating a Successful Virtual Trade Show

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Follow these expert tips for planning and hosting a Virtual Trade Show. After hosting virtual trade shows for the past 21 years, we pulled together best practices to help you achieve the best results.

  1. Set goals up front. What does success look like?
    • What are the objectives of the virtual trade show? Launch a new product or service, thought leadership, lead generation?
    • Pre-event goals: # of registrations
    • During the event goals: # of attendees, # of booth visits, # of assets downloaded
    • Post-event: # of downloads, webinar recording views, click-through rate on the follow up emails
    • Leads – > opportunities -> closed deals
  2. Naming and positioning of the event
    • Why would someone one attend?
    • What feeling do you want someone to have (strength, sense of community, empowered)
    • What are the 1-2 things they should recall from the virtual conference?
  1. Content is a big deal
    • What does your target audience want to learn about?
    • What are your core competencies? Bring other speakers that have other expertise
    • What is NEW or different about what you are saying?
    • How can you convey your key messages in a digestible format
  2. Use a multi-channel promotion strategy
    • Who are the buyer persona’s that you are targeting? Should you include existing customers?
    • Email program (starts 3 weeks prior) – Keep in mind that 83% of event attendees still come from emails. Also, the majority of registrants come a few days prior to the event so keep the campaign going
    • Promoted Face Book posts – Use images to keep the ads visual
    • Twitter
    • Internal social promotion – Create and distribute templates to staff for tweets or LinkedIn posts by your employees to their network.
    • Referral campaign – Use campaign tracking URL to offer incentives
    • Leverage partner and speaker networks to help promote your event
  3. Love ‘Em or Loose ‘Em Fast – During the virtual trade show you need to engage your audience
    • Customize your event environment to represent your brand. First first impressions are everything
    • Incorporate visually interesting graphics
    • Add a welcome video to greet attendees and tell them what to expect
    • Provide good speakers that are well prepared with their content and the technology
    • Plan for how can they interact and engage – polls, surveys, networking rooms, chat
    • Consider giveaways, games and prizes to make the event fun and drive behavior
    • Use broadcast messages to announce prize winners, alert attendees to special offers, or direct them to a presentation or booth
    • Tailor the virtual conference experience to your different audience segments. Create entitlement groups who can access specific content items, specific graphics and even entire rooms and spaces. For example, add a VIP lounge to give special access so that your top customers and prospects chat live with your executives
  1. Keep it Alive! Extend the life of your virtual event. Keeping your virtual trade show available on-demand can increase your viewership by over 25%. Also, re-purpose the content created during the virtual trade show via blog posts, YouTube, slide-share, make an e-Book, etc.

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