Prior to the pandemic, (physical) tradeshows were staples of business calendars. Tradeshows drawing an international audience by the tens or even hundreds of thousands allow companies to showcase their latest offerings, monitor the competition, and network with potential partners.
With border closures, national lockdowns and social distancing, many of the 33,000 annual tradeshows worldwide have morphed into virtual events. These include the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest technology event of its kind, and the China Import and Export Fair, a mega international trading event which attracted 26,000 local and international online exhibitors in 2020.
Closer to home, we have the Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific (ITAP), SFF x SWITCH, the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) as well as others which have also pivoted.
Why virtual tradeshows?
Physical and virtual tradeshows each have their own merits, with some organisers opting for a hybrid version to combine the best of both worlds.
Far from stop-gap measures, virtual tradeshows are likely to continue even after physical events return. Here’s why:
Access to a truly global audience who can join you from all corners of the world without the need to travel. Virtual tradeshows extend your marketing outreach across borders and time zones. You can interact with potential customers and business partners safely and easily from your desk or mobile device.
Access to your booth is available around the clock. On-demand content allows visitors to search for and find your products, watch video demonstrations, or download your product information instantly at your virtual booth.
Parties can book virtual appointments or meetings across time zones. You can make use of the tradeshow platform’s business matching function to proactively find potential customers or business partners and schedule meetings with them at mutually compatible timings.
Better tracking and follow-ups through digital collection of visitor data and leads. These provide valuable insights on who your potential customers are and how effective your virtual booth is, to help you measure the success of your tradeshow participation and follow up on leads. You can also customise your follow-up action according to how visitors interacted with your content.
More time for marketing and lead generation within the tradeshow. The virtual format allows you to constantly engage visitors through channels such as live chats, webinars, live streaming and emails to keep leads warm. Content at virtual tradeshows may be accessible beyond the usual three to four event days, giving you more opportunities for lead generation.
Convinced but new to virtual tradeshows? Download our Virtual Tradeshow Guide
Enterprise Singapore and our resource partner Pico have created an introductory guide to help you learn the ropes. Here’s what you can get out of the guide:
- What to look out for on the virtual tradeshow platform
- What you need to do to set up your virtual booth
- How to market your booth and products before, during and after the tradeshow
- How to maximise your participation
- How to prepare for speaking opportunities and organise your own livestream
- How to collect and manage data from the tradeshow