by Jim Cermak TradeShowu.biz
Ep 036 – Coming Out of COVID – Tips for Virtual Events and Why Getting Back to In-Person Shows is Important
** This Episode is Sponsored by Audible! **
Get a Free Audiobook and a Free 30-day Trial by visiting www.audibletrial.com/tradeshowu
Let’s talk about what’s happening right now in the Events industry. The events industry is hurting! And there are so many businesses involved when you really think of it. One big national show can bring business to the convention space, catering, restaurants, transportation, hotels, airlines, parking, and so much more. If we want our economy to truly rebound, then we have got to get back to having in-person trade shows, events, conferences, and expos again!
I have heard some companies say they really don’t want to exhibit at trade shows going forward because they don’t get the results, and they were able to save a ton of money by not going to a show. If you are not getting the results that are typically not the fault of the trade show. That means you aren’t planning for or working the shows the right way.
If that sounds like you – then contact me right away. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Explain your biggest struggle. And just for reaching out, I’ll send you my Ultimate Goal Setting Guide for Trade Shows. We as exhibitors need to get better at serving the attendees!
Let’s go back to what Trade shows and other events mean to the economy. $101 Billion industry!
Airlines, Hotels, and Convention Centers are committed to keeping people safe and healthy! They are investing millions into developing new standards, new cleaning products, new procedures, and training their staff. And you know where probably one of the safest places is in America right now? A hotel room because people haven’t been in them in months!!
There’s a great article from Trade Show News Network which goes into great depth on what hotels, convention centers, and airlines are doing. A fascinating read and I’ll drop the link to the article in the show notes.
So we need to get back to these in-person events not just for the industry, but to help make connections and build relationships. Face to face is where it’s at! Just can’t grab a drink or go to dinner with someone after a Zoom meeting. Plus there are so many other benefits of in-person events.
But live events are still at least a few months away. And I know companies that said we are too concerned about our employee’s health and safety to travel for the rest of this year. I get it and totally understand. But please make the commitment in 2021 – if this health crisis is over – to get back to these events. And if you don’t believe the ROI is there for you, and that’s why you’re not going to live events, contact me. I can help double the results.
But for now, we have a lot of virtual events happening. Many webinars. I can probably fill up most weeks with all of the webinar invites I get. So how do you make the most of Virtual events?
As an Exhibitor:
· Learn all about the audience. You have to do an even better job connecting with someone through a screen and maybe you’re reduced to the size of a 3” square. Nearly impossible to read body language. So give yourself the best chance by learning who will be attending. What are their interests and needs? What is their industry going through? So take the time to learn!
· Turn off your email notifications and put away your phone. You want to make sure you are focused so you can deliver the most value to your attendees.
· Set goals. What do you want to take away from a presentation or a session? Figure it out and be sure to make a call to action which is directly in line with your goals.
As an Attendee:
· Commit the time to be at the event, plus time afterward. All the distractions of the office, or our home office, can easily get pulled away. Block out the time just as if it were an important meeting. And plan extra time in case the event goes long so you don’t have to rush away.
· Before attending, explore everything the virtual event will offer. Keynotes, breakout sessions, vendor sessions, and more. Some sessions may be available for replays after the fact, so determine which sessions you would like to attend live to have the chance to interact with the presenter, and which you can watch on replay.
· Set Goals! What do you want to take away? Are there companies you want to connect with or get information from? Is there a solution you are searching for? Whatever the case – set goals!
· Turn off all Distractions including your email notifications and put away your phone. You want to make sure you are focused so you can take away as much value as possible.
· Network as much as possible! Virtual networking can take place in specific networking rooms, or via direct message to other members during a presentation. You may just need to be more creative, and it can take more effort.
Please keep in mind that this is new for everyone. These virtual events may not be perfect – just cut everyone some slack as they figure things out. But if you go all in, set goals and cut out distractions, you can get great value from them.
So there you go. As we come out of COVID, hopefully, you have some new ideas on making the most out of virtual events. And please be sure to plan to attend in-person events later this year, or next year if you don’t feel ready to attend this year. The industry, and many other industries, depend on it!
And if you’re resigned to the fact that you don’t get enough from shows and are ready to quit them, Contact me and we can talk through your struggles! If we could get you double the results, would that change your mind? Contact me today! Email
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!