Not so long ago we published a few articles about how to make the most out of in-person events and trade shows. We looked at ways a business stand can go from being ignored to the star attraction of the show in our article, The Five Things You Need to Prepare For an In-Person Event. We’ve also given some advice on the best products to help you along the way, whether you’re a startup on a budget or looking to make a green statement at events.
Here at DGW Branded we love these events more than anything, nothing makes us more passionate about what we do than when we can meet people excited about the products we have to offer and the services we provide.
However as much as we love pitching at these business events and trade shows, thanks to a certain global pandemic, it’s irresponsible of us to advise that following these in-person trade show tips is the best way to go about marketing your business at this moment in time.
The second we can take our masks off and breathe a sigh of relief that the virus no longer poses any threats, DGW Branded will be the first in line at the show and eager to share our latest community projects. For now, things have to stay digital. That’s why we’re writing this article, to go through some of the best ways to do event marketing online. We’re going to look at how to use this new form of business interaction as a way to network and collaborate with other businesses, as well as looking at how to make virtual trade shows have the same wow factor as those in the real world. But first, let’s quickly explain what a virtual business event actually is and why they are so important.
We should begin by explaining what exactly a virtual business event is. Plenty of businesses are put off by doing these events by not quite understanding what they actually entail. It would be a mistake for a business to ignore these virtual events and just wait for physical shows to be safe to showcase their products and services.
The concept of a virtual business event has gained traction with the COVID pandemic, with 2020 seeing “the number of organizations planning a virtual event doubled.” However, virtual events existed long before the virus.
If you’ve ever attended a webinar, joined an online meeting, or taken part in an on-demand workout class… congratulations, you’ve attended a virtual event! Simply put, a virtual event is one where individuals experience the event and its content online rather than gathering in person.
The reasons for joining a virtual event are similar to those for an in-person one. Generating appeal for your business, potential networking helping to drive adoption to your services and to build lasting relationships with customers.
In some ways, virtual events can be of even greater value to your business than a physical presence. Virtual booths are typically less expensive and require less infrastructure to set up. These savings can go towards giving each attendee an unforgettable experience – read on to find out more!
Not only are there potential savings to be enjoyed but the potential attendees can be exponentially more as anyone, anywhere can attend these virtual events regardless of their location.
These virtual business events are amazing opportunities to have fun and learn with fellow businesses and potential customers. That being said, just because the event is online doesn’t mean you can ignore the fundamentals of organizing a successful pitch – marketing, planning, and content are just as important as the physical show. Now that we know what virtual business events are and why they are so crucial, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to make the most out of this new form of business interaction.
Playing to your strengths (or the strengths of your platform) is a good life and business philosophy. That’s why when your business has gone online-only, it’s a great opportunity to network with other businesses who want to take advantage of these new possibilities.
The importance of creating and cultivating a professional network has only increased since the pandemic began. Attending networking events virtually offers you the chance to meet inspirational influencers and thought leaders in the industry and become aware of the latest trends. When attending these networking events, each speaker typically only has a minute or two to speak before the host continues. In this short timeframe remember to be professional and have a clear, concise plan of what you will say. Writing one can showcase your unique qualities and experiences. When it’s well-crafted, it can help you stand out and be more memorable to others. Describe your business as succinctly and also mention your social media presence. It will allow other professionals to see what you have to offer!
A great place to find networking events is cplus.live. This company makes it easy to get started in either creating your own event, or joining a seminar of networking business professionals. CPlus will help define all aspects of the video appearance itself with logos, video cards, speaker popups and animated intros.
Now that we’ve looked at networking events, we will discuss trade shows and how to make the most of its digital presence. Just like in the physical world, you will want to have your brand logo and identity front and center to maximize your brand recognition. Try to incorporate your company’s color scheme and marketing fonts along with striking product images to make it more attractive and for the color and theme to be associated with your business. If being organized for networking events is key, it’s even more imperative for virtual trade shows. Because it is far more difficult to keep attendees engaged compared to physical trade shows, there are certain steps you can take to keep their focus. Have a live chat option for questions and comments, and make sure your business engages in this section. For the presentation, you must incorporate a variety of media. It’s best to use video, audio clips, as well as live speech alongside a snappy slideshow to keep your audience gripped! Research shows “80% of people participate in virtual events for educational purposes,” so while you want to be entertaining don’t shy away from why people are there: to learn about your business and the solutions you are offering to industry problems.
Having your first virtual trade show can be daunting but that doesn’t mean you should be put off from the idea. When it’s your first virtual event, planning is even more crucial. But don’t feel too anxious about the time and finances involved with getting it right: with the perfect setup you can use this first virtual trade show as the basis for the future!
Perfecting the style for your event is tricky but doable. Start weeks – or even months – before your trade show begins. Hiring a design consultant is what we recommend to achieve first-time success. Again, this isn’t the cheapest option but the right agency will guarantee a brilliant return on your investment (ROI)… especially as it doesn’t seem virtual trade shows will disappear anytime soon.
An award winning company to help your business finding virtual trade shows is Hivebite. They will really help your business grow through their formula of managing all your events, tickets, and payments in one place to help your show gain the most traction.
Sending an email is an effective way to notify attendees when your event is taking place. The thing is that according to Markletic, “The average no-show percentage of virtual events is 35%.” Obviously, the more people that attend the event, the faster word spreads about your company and therefore we want the no-show percentage to be as low as possible.
DGW Branded can help you. We’ve created an amazing engagement kit that we can send to every attendee who has signed up for the event. These boxes are completely customizable to meet the needs of your company. Fill this virtual event box with some of the amazing products you usually showcase at the front of your event booth. Get everyone intrigued about what else you’re going to show off later in the event! And don’t forget to include a QR Code – this can send attendees to a video you’ve prepared giving info about the event or transfer them right into the conference!
With the pandemic not going away and the rate at which consumers and businesses are jumping aboard the virtual world of events, the question isn’t whether you should attend these events but, rather, how to do so. We hope in this article we’ve explained why it’s so crucial for your business to join the virtual trade show world and found some of the tips helpful on how to make the most of these digital opportunities. If you have any questions about the process or need help planning an unforgettable experience for your attendees, please feel free to reach out to us for further advice. Likewise, if you have any hot tips on how to make virtual business events a roaring success, let us know in the comments below!
DGW Branded, as we mentioned earlier, loves a trade show and we can’t get enough of business events. To find out about when we’re next attending a virtual event you should follow us on social media. We’re on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Giving a gift. It sounds so easy yet finding that perfect something for an employee who really deserves it can be tricky. Not only do