The way you look at the world has completely changed after the onslaught of the pandemic. It has changed many things, and everything went online. It acted as a catalyst in the pace of digitalization. Going out for any event became impossible, so there had to be away, and that is when virtual events started to pop up like mushrooms in monsoon.
Thousands of institutions, museums, festivals, and even global happenings have shifted online now, all the courtesy of COVID-19. The sector which used to thrive on face-to-face connection, at first, faced disastrous effects. Yet all of them, including art galleries and exhibitions, fairs entered the digital arena, many for the first time.
Effects on businesses
Every kind of business has been affected by the pandemic on some level. Virtual events offered much-needed aid to the dipping businesses. The use of digital technologies was the only option left that helped to move through these unforeseen and challenging times.
All that said, it doesn’t mean that the era of virtual exhibitions is over. It is here to stay for a very long time.
What is a virtual exhibition?
It is an online exhibition organized on a virtual exhibition platform. It allows the exhibitors to show their unique spectrum of the latest products to global audiences. Attendees can interact with others in real-time via live audio, video, or text chats.
The exhibitors can connect with the attendees from the comfort of their homes.
Virtual events are going to go big
Virtual events like virtual exhibition have great potential to lead; everyone has realized that. Here are some reasons mentioned for the same:
- Who are we kidding here? FOMO is very real. People fear missing out, which makes them eager to click on any big event going online.
- Peer-to-peer fundraisers can be held virtually now, making it a lot easier for organizations to host one.
Benefits of holding exhibitions or any event virtually
You must not think that just because an exhibition is held online, it has less significance than an in-person exhibition. There are multiple advantages to the situation and are mentioned right here:
- Increased attendees
Might come as a surprise, but a lot of people participate in such an event. Moreover, surveys even showed that the count of attendees was more than in a physical one.
The reason is as clear as crystal – no traveling costs involved, and you can join from wherever you want. The geographical barriers get completely eradicated.
- Value for sponsors and exhibitors
It is a common misconception that virtual exhibitions don’t offer as good value to the companies as physical exhibitions because of the unavailability of the stalls and no opportunities for in-person opportunities.
However, a closer look reveals that sponsors/exhibitors can connect with the attendees at any time, promote their services through virtual communities. They don’t have to worry about empty booths at the physical venue anymore. Less travel and more valuable interactions.
- Reduced expenses
Planning a successful business-to-business exhibition, no doubt, is an expensive affair from which you can’t get away. However, virtual exhibitions help you save money involved in venue charges, on-location staff payments, stall setup charges, and others associated with a physical event.
The saved money can be used up in picking a high-quality virtual exhibition platform by the event planners.
- Effective networking
At an in-person exhibition, attendees have to be at workshops, speaker sessions, interact with others, grab meals, and do other things. There is a time-crunch that may result in missing out on peer-to-peer networking opportunities. This is not the case with virtual events.
You can look up other participants and their names and e-mails and interact with them, nurturing beneficial relationships.
Hosting a successful virtual exhibition
To make a virtual exhibition a success, you need to keep the following things in mind:
- Goals of exhibition
The primary thing you need to do is focus on what you want to achieve from the exhibition. Whether you want to generate revenues? Or business leads? Are you showcasing your latest product in front of existing and new customers?
Whatever the purpose is, you should be aware of that. It helps in making accurate decisions later.
- Creating an effective plan
Once the goal is clear in the presenter’s mind, step forward to the planning and strategy for the big event. Ask yourself some important questions beforehand like:
- What will be the registration process?
- How can one access the virtual exhibition?
- How many virtual booths and sponsors will be there?
- Will there be a payment gateway?
These are only some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
- Creating interactive exhibition halls
Develop interactive and easy-to-navigate halls for the exhibition. With interactive floor designs, attendees can visit exhibitors’ booths seamlessly.
Choosing a virtual exhibition platform can indeed be difficult. But you can make sure that the platform offers you certain features that will make the exhibition a success. A few examples are listed below:
- Customizable booths
Choose a platform that enables the exhibitors to showcase their products or services through customized virtual booths.
It can be made much better with customized event pages and 3D avatars. They are a fun way as the attendees can scan their faces and create their lookalike avatars. It makes the whole process more fun.
- Analytics and metrics
If the platform keeps an eye on the digital footprints of the attendees, all the better. It involves every minute detail of the attendees right from when they joined the virtual exhibition. It helps in developing an analytics report that helps in measuring the exhibition’s success.
Now you know that virtual exhibition outweighs the perks offered by an in-person exhibition. If you are a novice in the virtual world, you need not worry about even a thing. There are virtual exhibition platforms out there that make sure your big event turns into a big success without any bumps down the road.