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Are Virtual Trade Shows the New Future?

Virtual conference software

Trade shows have been an effective marketing method for years. Trade shows bring together common businesses and consumers who are interested in those businesses. The high exposure to hundreds, sometimes thousands of customers, makes for an extremely low cost marketing strategy. Today, however, virtual trade shows are beginning to replace these physical trade shows. Virtual trade shows provide many advantages over the traditional trade show platform.

Higher guest attendance
Although traditional trade shows could produce sometimes, thousands of consumers, there is still an untouched target group. Some consumers simply cannot find the time or money to attend trade shows, especially when they are located in a different state, or country than their hometown. With virtual trade shows, the consumer does not have to travel. They also do not have to take extended periods of time off of work, because the virtual conferences are often shortened compared to on site trade shows. According to a 2016 study, the average duration of a virtual trade show is seven hours typically spread over one to three live days. This is compared to a trade show participant having to give up an entire weekend to visit a single trade show in person.

Higher conversion rates
Most physical trade show participants are bombarded by hundreds of different businesses. They may collect information and then make their decision later, upon returning to the office. By this time, they may forget individual characteristics about each business. They may only remember the last couple of vendors that they communicated with. The virtual event platform allows consumers to take notes and spend as much or as little time as they want with a specific vendor or business. According to a 2013 Demand Gen Report reader survey, 30% to 40% of people who visit a webinar landing page end up registering for the event. Vendors can also push additional conversions by providing the consumer with extremely easy registration or follow through from their computer.

Better feedback from trade show participants
Vendors can easily get overwhelmed at a trade show. Consumers can be passed by and you can never get true feedback from the consumers that do visit your booth. One of the biggest advantages of the online event platform is that you can track every single consumer that visits your page. You can also request individual feedback from those that did not purchase or did not convert to becoming a member, allowing you to improve upon your product or service. According to a 2013 Demand Gen Report reader survey, questions are used to engage with the audience in 54% of webinars, polls are used 34% of the time. These questions and polls can be helpful in turning an interested consumer into a converted consumer.

Easier to market
Marketing for an upcoming trade show can be difficult as an individual vendor. You are not aware of the participants that are already planning on attending. You also do not want to put too many resources into marketing for the trade show, because then you could be pushing potential consumers into another business. When you a vendor of virtual trade shows, however, you can specifically gear consumers to your part of the trade show. The virtual conference platform allows you to have your own vendor page. If you are giving a presentation or talk, you can also directly invite potential consumers to attend the virtual trade show during your scheduled time.

Trade shows have been around for many years. They are a cost effective method to marketing and bring together consumers and businesses. However, they can be overwhelming and time consuming, both for the consumer and for the business. For this reason, many vendors and small businesses are moving toward virtual trade shows. Virtual trade shows can be better organized, can turn more interested consumers into converted consumers, and allow you to track your visitor satisfaction. We are likely to see an increase in virtual trade shows in the years to come.

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