As we have started to see over the last few months, just about everything has gone virtual. Banner-ups, collateral and other tried-and-true tools of the tradeshow have become obsolete. We’ve put together a guide for making all the necessary marketing adjustments to help ease you into the virtual tradeshow world. Much like the in-person events we’re used to, it starts with your “booth.”
Every virtual conference will have some sort of exhibitor hall or virtual lobby where your potential customer will find your virtual booth. Virtual booths can be signaled by something as simple as your logo, but some hosts offer more attention-grabbing options like video. Remember that consistent branding and messaging are just as important here as they were in the traditional tradeshow space.
Dedicated Web Page
Most conference hosts will offer a landing page as an option, but they can get quite pricey and usually only last the duration of the show (or you can pay even more to keep them up longer). Save some money and enjoy more control by building a more permanent landing page that lives on your own website. Since you are missing the face-to-face aspect in a lot of cases, you really want this page to be as visual as possible. We recommend having a professional corporate video created to live on this page to really get potential customers an engaging flavor of who you are.
Start thinking now about what brochures, tabletops, handouts have you brought to shows in the past. How are you going to make them digital? These should be a part of the landing page you create. You might, for example, convert them to downloadable files you provide after you capture the potential client’s email.
Lead Generation and Appointment Booking
Booking a one-on-one session is more important than ever since it is not like a traditional show where someone is manning the booth most of the event. Research calendar and booking plugins to find one that fits the aforementioned web page so visitors can set an appointment.
Some visitors might not be willing to book an appointment, but curious enough to live chat. You can install a live chat on your site where you can communicate directly with prospects in real time. Note that it does not have to be on 24/7. You can program it to have an automated message sent during times when a live person is not available.
Most exhibitors will have the option to do some sort of live presentation or Q & A. Zoom is a great way to be able to do this. You can also record the session and post it on your landing page for anyone who might have missed it.
While there are many differences in the virtual conference experience compared to the traditional tradeshow, it can be just as successful with the right preparation and marketing assets.