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10 Virtual Trade Show Must Do’s for Success

Jim Cermak

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 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.

— One time live or replays available?

— What do you want people to leave with?

— What do you want people to do? Call to Action!

3-Set goals

— 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

4-Promote promote promote!

— Social media, email, banner ads, etc.

— Give incentive 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. 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

7-Get interactive

— As people join in, call out their name! 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 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? Less 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, 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 in 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 Do’s for having a successful virtual trade show!

What are you doing? Let me know!

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!


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