Since the COVID 19 pandemic, everything has changed in business - but it's not just temporary closures, production downtime, short-time work and home offices that pose major challenges for B2C and B2B companies alike.
The absence of specific industry events, such as trade fairs or congresses, is also a problem. In many companies, such events are an important instrument for marketing, sales contact and ultimately for particularly effective new customer acquisition as well as existing customer care.
The virtual trade fair presents itself here as a very good alternative, which - with the right approach - even brings significant advantages over a classic event.
Not to forget that Corona acts as a strong catalyst in the change of buying behaviour, which will result in an even more intensive use of digital channels.
As a result, the option of being able to visit a digital trade fair or virtual showroom will sooner or later inevitably become part of the expectations of customers and partners in more and more business sectors. Those who position themselves here at an early stage will secure an extremely useful unique economic position vis-à-vis their competitors!
A virtual trade fair or a virtual trade fair stand can be realized with the help of specific software that combines a wide range of functions in order to transfer the otherwise physical trade fair appearance in all its facets into the digital space at best. Corresponding trade fair installations can then be used from any location simply by PC, smartphone or tablet.
The technology offers the possibility of developing a completely digital trade fair stand under the respective corporate design and other design specifications. Such stands are ideally in no way inferior to the trade fair themes at the presence trade fair, both visually and functionally.
The virtual trade fair also forms, at best, a digital platform for all the typical processes of a classic industry event.
Personal communication with interested parties and existing customers should also be a central factor here. Companies are given the opportunity to make contact with visitors "as usual" within the virtual trade fair stand. Being able to use live chat or a video meeting for interaction is already standard for digital trade fair solutions.
It should also be possible to switch to typical trade fair presentations or tutorials in the form of live streams or on-demand transmissions via a media library.
The opportunity to precisely track the activities of stand visitors is not yet available with every system. With such features for visitor tracking and corresponding reporting, a very precise follow-up of the trade fair can take place - even if no personal contact was made.
Not every company is immediately convinced by the concept of the digital trade fair or the digital showroom. The following concerns are typical.
"The digital booth was planned perfectly, the features are configured and the marketing or sales team are ready. Unfortunately, however, the hoped-for visitors fail to materialize."
Such a scenario is undoubtedly among the first concerns for companies considering the option of a virtual trade fair. It's a good thing that it can be practically ruled out by carefully considering the concerns of one's target customers and taking appropriate marketing measures in advance.
Of course, participants do not automatically come to a virtual trade fair. If the number of visitors is very low, this is often due to the target group's lack of knowledge about the digital event. In this case, it is important to familiarize the potential visitors with the subject matter in a precisely fitting manner. A consistent communication strategy shows how it can be done and removes scepticism. Education and trust are the keys here.
"A virtual trade fair involves high technical requirements for the participants - surely my target group doesn't have the necessary equipment, does it?" Of course, it is important to educate the target group of a digital trade fair about the technical requirements in advance. However, modern systems do not require much more resources to visit the virtual trade fair stand than would also be the case when using a more elaborate website.
"The presence trade fair thrives on communication, on chance encounters, on networking and, last but not least, on the odd stand party.
Corresponding prerequisites can never be achieved in the digital space, can they?"
Digital events, of course, always function somewhat differently than conventional trade fairs, but they still fulfil the purpose of interaction. They provide an opportunity for face-to-face interaction, a closer look at products, business initiation and lead management.
All of this and more is achievable through the right use of topic-specific rooms, group chats, talks, livestreams and/or gamifications, among other things.
Ideally, companies make clever strategic use of the fact - which is undoubtedly also exciting for visitors - that in a digital environment a new world and thus attractive opportunities for worthwhile contacts can be hidden behind every tip or click.
In the previous section, a number of factors were mentioned that put typical concerns about the realization of a digital trade fair into perspective. In fact, there are many more convincing arguments for such events. The classic presence trade fair is even outperformed here in several places.
- Exceptional appearance The installation of a virtual trade fair or even a virtual showroom offers a wide range of exceptional design options. In principle, all options of the digital world can be integrated, whereby the respective product or service offer can be presented in a completely unique and thus very sustainable way.
- Costsavings Visiting a virtual trade fair is possible irrespective of location and often also irrespective of time. The digital trade fair stand can normally be called up around the clock.
- Cost savings With virtual trade fairs, companies save on stand rental and some personnel costs or expenses - and there is no need for transport or the assembly and dismantling of trade fair equipment. In addition, the realization of the virtual trade fair stand itself is significantly more cost-efficient. No stand furniture has to be purchased, nothing printed and no physical giveaways distributed. The design of the virtual stand is comparatively quick to implement and can be flexibly adapted - even until shortly before the event.
- Uninhibited communication Virtual trade fairs offer companies a wide range of opportunities to make personal contact with interested parties and customers. Chats, live streams, video meetings, features for surveys and web TV are some potentially very effective options. The physical distance of a virtual trade fair, which is often viewed with such scepticism, can even lower the inhibition threshold for establishing contact.
- Analyses and KPI reporting Another clear advantage of virtual trade fairs compared to conventional presence trade fairs is the digital opportunity to measure and evaluate user behaviour similar to a visit to a website. The data obtained here is useful in a variety of ways to drive one's own business forward. At traditional trade fairs, this information is often only obtained in the course of personal communication with visitors. At the digital stand, however, all interactions can be analysed and used further - no contact is necessary for this.
- Environmental protection Last but not least, virtual trade fairs are environmentally friendly. This is because otherwise necessary transport, building materials, digital printing and also the often long journey of the many visitors are not required.
- As mentioned at the very beginning of this article, customersin almost all industries increasingly expect a digitalized purchasing process. The possibility of being able to visit important events virtually will also become more and more established under these conditions. However, there is still considerable unique selling proposition potential here in many industries.
- virtual booth is a digital platform for holding virtual trade fairs and other events, such as customer meetings or internal events.
- One of the key differences between virtual booth and other solutions is that the focus here is more on digital selling.
- Companies are given a wide range of extremely useful options for conducting dialogues with visitors and selling goods or services directly.
- Furthermore, virtual booth offerscomprehensive features for visitor tracking as well as for efficient and automated further processing of relevant data in lead nurturing. The corresponding functions are clearly ahead of those of other systems - if they exist at all.
- It is therefore possible to use virtual booth with marketing automation, to carry out highly targeted lead profiling and to combine everything in a maximally effective e-mail marketing.
- In addition to all the focus on sales and lead management, the visual presentation of the products and the trade fair stand is not neglected.
- Another benefit:virtual booth made and hosted in Germany. This means that users can rely on a completely German-language interface and German-language support. Furthermore, all processes comply with German and European legal requirements.
Further details can be found on the virtual booth info page.
In many areas, virtual trade fairs are much more economical to plan, technically prepare and implement than a presence trade fair. However, without sufficient organization, nothing works here either. Basically, many strategic considerations and preparations that are relevant for a presence trade fair also apply to a digital trade fair. For example, the products to be presented must be put together, the stand design must be determined, presentations, tutorials, etc. must be organized and the team for looking after the visitors must be determined.
In addition, when coordinating a digital trade fair, it is essential to answer the following questions.
- Through which marketing channels and with which strategy can I convince our target group to visit the trade fair?
- What information do our potential visitors need?
- Which virtual trade fair features are possible and which offer us the greatest benefit?
- Who should have access to the virtual trade fair?
- What can we do better than our top competitors - if they offer or have offered virtual trade fair stands in the past?
- Is there any general experience that can be transferred to the digital trade fair?
- How many people should be able to visit the digital trade fair at the same time?
- Does the targeted system offer the necessary functions to efficiently implement our virtual trade fair?
The virtual trade fair is, if it is strategically planned and implemented in the best possible way, not only a good alternative to the presence trade fair and can definitely match it in terms of effectiveness. It can even surpass the classic trade fair in various areas.
The digital trade fair provides companies with almost all the advantages of a corresponding conventional event.
In addition, it offers the undoubtedly enormous opportunities to convince interested parties and existing customers to a particular extent through the immense possibilities of the digital world, to reduce barriers in time, space and communication and, last but not least, to collect and process data to an extent that would hardly be possible at a presence trade fair.
- We support you in the conception of your individual and success-oriented trade fair strategy - according to your intended goals and target groups.
- In addition to the professional implementation of your digital trade fair stand with our virtualbooth tool, we show you how you can benefit from optimal data utilisation.
- Make sustainable use of your digital trade fair stand by not only generating leads, but also developing them into customers in a targeted nurture process at the appropriate points of the customer journey - our experts are happy to help!
- Of course, we will work with you to ensure DSGVO-compliant implementation and will be happy to advise you in this regard as well.
For your holistically successful digital sales, we are also happy to support you around these topics: