Brand Marketing Alternatives: The Trade Show Must Go On … And Is

With virtually all public events currently on hold, it’s hard to heed the mandate – ‘the show must go on’. It seems the only real-time action is being supplied by horse racing, a sport taking place at several select tracks across the land – minus, spectators of course.

Great, if you like the ponies. Very light on the comfort, however, if you’re a trade show organizer, all of whom are facing very tough choices these days. Among the many recent trade show cancellations is Facebook’s F8 Software Developer Conference. Countless others also have done their fair share of nixing. Which raises a natural question — is there hope for brands counting on trade shows for product promotion?

Fortunately, there is. The provider of hope is a phenomenon called the virtual trade show, which, as its name suggests, takes place entirely online. Seated in front of their computer screens, ‘attendees’ can view and glide around product booths, rendered in stunning 3D, from the comfort of home. Recently, this option has gained traction in the brand marketing world, with usage expanding at a robust clip. Now its use is a ‘virtual’ necessity if you want to get noticed.

The virtual trade show offers several distinct advantages. The first is its comparatively lower cost. Stacked against an average outdoor event, the digital exhibition is considerably easier on the wallet. True, exhibitors won’t hear much hand clapping when they unfurl a winner. Nevertheless, brands can bask in positive (hopefully) responses via various feedback channels.

Complementing the cost savings is the enhanced reach offered by virtual trade fairs. No such thing as limited capacity when you’re exhibiting online. A digital showcase can play to unlimited audiences, without overcrowding, excessive traffic, bumping, and the inevitable cursing. Just grab a handy snack and zip to and fro as you please.

How does a virtual trade show exhibitor promote an upcoming event? Not surprisingly, prospective attendees are most readily reached through the standard channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Website, and Email are among the high-contact options.

Organizers, of course, must build their online trade show on a suitable digital platform. As things now stand, the leader in this field is vFairs, considered the gold standard by many. 6 Connex and Brazen also command respect in this category.

If you have any questions or comments about virtual trade shows or any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.