If you rely on trade show marketing as a high priority method of engaging with your audience, COVID-19 might have you struggling to find an alternative for the time being. You may be considering virtual events but are questioning their effectiveness. After all, trade shows are meant to ignite and grow face-to-face connections for your brand. How are you supposed to create connections in an online space?
While virtual events are a whole new ballgame, we believe they have some potential to be the next best thing for your business at this time. If you’re dealing with a trade show cancellation, here are a few ways to bounce back and create an interactive online event.
With “interactive” being the key ingredient here, let’s get started.
1. SEND YOUR AUDIENCE MEMBERS SOMETHING PHYSICAL
At trade shows, exhibitors often utilize freebies to entice attendees to step into their booth. They hand out branded items to grow awareness of their business. Consider sending a gift to your audience as an alternative! Sending something to your audience before your virtual event is a great way to create a connection with them before your event even starts. Not to mention that doing so will make your brand much more memorable.
Offering a gift is also a great incentive for getting people to want to RSVP. When you ask your virtual attendees to RSVP, let them know that they can also receive a freebie once they’ve completed your form. Click To Tweet
2. OFFER A SPECIAL DISCOUNT
One way that exhibitors aim to be interactive at trade shows is to offer a deal that attendees can only get by visiting their booths. Create a similar incentive when promoting your virtual event to your audience. Let them know that if they attend, they’ll be eligible for a discount that they won’t want to miss out on.
Discounts and special deals create a sense of urgency for prospects. If they know that your offer won’t last long, this fear of missing out on a great deal will help them make their purchase decision more quickly and in your favour.
You can also make your discount offers more engaging and interesting by drawing the name of one lucky virtual attendee. Let your audience know that those who attend from start to finish will be eligible for a chance to win an even greater discount. Click To Tweet
Another way to make your virtual event more interactive around your discount offer is by incorporating social media. For example, you could tell your audience that tweeting with your hashtag or sharing a post on Facebook will knock off an additional percentage for them.
Anything that gets your audience taking action and getting excited is a good start!
3. GIVE LIVE DEMONSTRATIONS.
Trade shows are all about letting attendees see products in action. Key decision-makers want to ensure that they’re making the best purchase decision for them and their company.
This brings us to our last piece of advice for making your virtual event more interactive. Rather than pre-recording a video to share during your live event, instead, do a live demonstration. This transparency will be noticed and highly appreciated by your audience! The number one reason attendees come to trade shows is to see and experience new products, so it’s important to make them feel like they’re truly experiencing it in the moment.
This allows for questions and comments to come in and be answered on the spot during your demonstration. Your audience will feel much more connected!
Remember that prospects can look up information on your product and read all the specs and details at any time. What they want from your virtual events is something they can’t get from doing their own research. Product demonstration videos are a great asset for your website, but a live demonstration during your virtual event is going to be far more engaging.
Finding ways to stay interactive with your audience during this pandemic will be a key factor in your success when coming out on the other side. Whatever methods you’re using to stay engaged with your network at this time, Skyline Exhibits is here to assist you! We can’t wait until we are back at a place of normalcy and look forward to helping you succeed in your future trade shows.
By: Briquelle Neyens – April 28, 2020