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Virtual Trade Show Options – The Lockdown Episode

by Jim Cermak

Episode 028 – Virtual Trade Show Options – The Lockdown Episode

Everything has shifted in the trade show and event world. We’re a world in lockdown and trade shows are all postponed for a few months.

You need to make up for the lost opportunities from not being able to go to one or multiple shows, what options are there?


If you’re a small business or you want someone to bounce ideas off of or brainstorm, reach out to me and we can jump on a zoom call together. My years of experience can help you explore new and innovative ideas!

Send me an email at to inquire or get a session scheduled!


First – make a commitment that you will not let this set you back! Yes, the opportunity to get in front of your customers and prospects at the trade show was taken away for now, but all that means is that you need to get creative in figuring out new ways to get in front of those customers and prospects! So no matter how you do it, just do it!

Reach out to the show management of the shows that were canceled or postponed. Ask if they have any resources available to exhibitors like –

· registration list

· exhibitor list (if it’s not already on the show website)

· opportunities to reach the registered attendees like email blasts, advertising, webinars, or virtual workshops

So start there. These organizations want to keep you as engaged as possible so you stay an exhibitor when the show is rescheduled.


— A virtual walk-through of your trade show exhibit. The user will lead the experience, choosing to view the information on the products or services that are of interest to them, and being able to ask questions or even chat in real-time.

— A more simple self-guided tour. Create an intro video welcoming people and letting them know what they can experience. Then have separate videos for them to click on to see all you have to offer. Do product demos just like you would at a show. This can be very simple if you already have videos, or you can quickly pull some together and have a new web page design.

— Set up your booth just like you would at a show, set up a camera or your phone, and do a live interactive event on FB Live, YouTube live, or another social platform. Do a ton of pre-marketing to get people registered and there when you go live. Have some presentations ready to go through, and take questions from the viewers.

— Create one video going through everything at once. It can be effective, but it's not interactive, and unless the videos are short or super engaging, then you’ll have people drop off after 5-10 minutes on average.

— Reach out to key vendors or partner companies to do something together. This will also give you the opportunity to reach a wider audience as you can combine your in-house lists and followers on social media.

If you were scheduled to give a presentation, lead a workshop, or be a member of a panel, then get that information out to your audience! Turn your presentation or workshop into a webinar, or record yourself giving that presentation or workshop and get the video out there. If you were supposed to be on a panel, reach out to the other panelists and see if you can do the panel virtually via a zoom meeting, fb live, Instagram TV, or whatever platform your target audience uses!

Repurpose content you already have developed. This can be webinars, videos, white papers, literature, and more. Add value! More important than ever at this time when your customers are probably also feeling the pinch.

So what are you doing during this time? Drop me a note at! I would like to feature some ideas in future episodes!

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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