In today's fast-paced business world, many companies just don't have the time to take their tabletop displays and banner stands to trade shows. While the payoff can be tremendous, it's true that an industry expo requires a big investment, in time as well as money.
The solution is a virtual trade show. This option, which is becoming more and more popular, can be very economical for exhibitors, since it doesn't require travel time and expense. There are many advantages to this type of expo, but it does have its drawbacks as well.
Should You Attend A Virtual Trade Show?
To decide whether or not your company would benefit from participating in a virtual show, first consider what you're trying to accomplish. If you especially value face-to-face meetings, then this might not be your best option. But if your goals include sales and gaining valuable market information, it's worth checking out.
Virtual trade shows can be as basic as a text-based chat room, although this is rare, or as sophisticated as a complex, three-dimensional virtual convention hall. Attendees can create an avatar, complete with a name badge, and "walk" through the hall to view the displays. These can be custom-designed by each exhibitor, complete with virtual literature, pop-up displays, and banner stands. Companies can choose from stock templates or design their own stand from scratch.
Once visitors are in the online lobby, they can see doorways to other rooms on their computer screens: an auditorium, where they can hear marketing presentations and lectures; the exhibition hall, where they can browse the virtual displays and banner stands businesses have designed; a lounge, where they can chat with exhibitors and other attendees; and maybe one or two other options.
Through text-based chat or a microphone and headset, you can communicate with the attendees just as easily as if you were face-to-face. Additionally, you can control how many visitors can be at your display at one time, and even record your presentations to be saved and used again later. You can do all of this without ever leaving your office.
Should You Keep Your Physical Banner Stands At Trade Shows?
On the other hand, virtual expos do have their drawbacks. For one thing, if you're not especially tech-savvy, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to work the software. Although the hosts of online shows do their best to make it as easy as possible to participate, for some people it's just not going to be a comfortable fit.
Additionally, while communication is very easy in the online setting, nothing can ever replace true face-to-face contact. Communication, especially when the stakes are high, is extremely important, and misunderstandings can happen in virtual environments.
Finally, online conventions simply aren't a good fit for all industries. Many products and services present quite well online, but others, for example, architectural firms and interior designers, really need clients to view their products in person. A three-dimensional tour of their showrooms online could be an option, but conducting an entire trade show exhibit wouldn't be beneficial in this case.
Whether you choose to venture into the world of online conventions or you'd rather stick to physical pop-up displays and banner stands, trade show experts Exhibitor Source are here to help you. From graphic design to complex modular booths, we do it all with style. Call us today at (615) 287-9800 or contact us online to get started.