Here are the Top 10 Must-Do’s for having a successful and engaging Virtual Trade Show!!
1-Know your audience
— What are they looking for that you can offer?
— What are they going through? Especially now!
— Set the right time of day – is the audience business or consumer? Local, regional, or global?
2-Set your strategy
— First – think about how you usually do trade shows. Or what your best trade shows brought. Make sure you try to work as many of these aspects into your virtual shows.
— Is one time live or are replays available?
— What do you want people to leave with?
— What do you want people to do? Call to Action!
— What will equal success?
— Don’t just do something and say Yup! We had a virtual trade show! There’s got to be something measurable.
— If you’re ever investing time and money
— Social media, email, banner ads, etc.
— Give incentives for people to attend
5-Get people to register for the event
— Whether free or if you charge, getting people to register allows you to set your expectations
— Plus once they register, they are more likely to show up
— IDEA – get their physical address and send them something in the mail ahead of time! Mail out an agenda and maybe a promo item. Do you have some of those sitting around?
6-Find a sponsor or two
— If you’re doing this by yourself, reach out to a vendor or partner and get them to sponsor your event.
— Great promotional opportunity for them, plus helps you do more
— They can sponsor your pre-event or post-event mailing
— As people join in, call out their names! We love hearing our name, and it lets us know this event is actually live!
— Not just be interactive, but encourage engagement! Give opportunities!
— If you are planning on using the chat feature, make sure you have a moderator monitoring the chat to bring up questions and talking points
— Call out people who ask questions or make good points. If your software allows, open up their mic for a quick discussion or bring them on screen with you.
— Run quizzes, games, and polls to get people involved
— Networking opportunities
8-Go through it completely with your team ahead of time
— Don’t have the first time you run through to be in front of your live audience
— Work through any tech troubles you may have
— Have people tell you if they are engaged or if they want to go do something else
— Are your slides or graphics easy to see and read? Fewer words per page, more pics
9-Know your tech!!
— What features are you planning on using? There are so many available today.
— If you will be having multiple speakers, know how to smoothly go from one person to another.
— Make it super simple for your attendees to register, log in, and interact – whatever you want them to do!
10-Other fun ideas
— Did your company usually sponsor after-hours networking events? You can still have one!
— Can even send out a special box with a bottle of wine or beer ahead of time for them to enjoy during the event!
— If it’s a longer all-day event, send out a boxed lunch to your attendees
— Send out some swag ahead of the event and have drawings for those who wear or display it during the event.
— If your event is going to be more than an hour or so, plan for breaks! The last thing you want is your audience feeling trapped.
— And make your breaks fun! Have live entertainment, run fun video clips or company videos, on-screen quizzes, trivia, giveaways, and more.
So there you go! My 10 Must-Dos for having a successful virtual trade show!
What are you doing? Let me know! Jim@tradeshowu.biz
About the author, Jim
Jim Cermak has over 25 years of marketing, consulting and training experience, and has planned and worked hundreds of Trade Shows. He gets a little overly excited about Trade Shows, and puts that passion into helping companies get better results!