Tradeshows Gone Virtual
Trade show are a way for companies and organizations within specific industries to showcase and demonstrate their newest products, services, study activities of rivals and examine new trends and opportunities. Some shows are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives from within the same trade. They are held on a continuing basis across the US.
Trade shows involve considerable amounts of marketing investments. Show costs can include space rental, design and construction of tradeshow displays, networking, travel, accommodations, and promotional literature to give to attendees. Other costs that may be incurred include electrical, booth cleaning, Internet access, and material handling.
As the Internet evolves, there are an increasing number of trade fairs happening online, such events are known as virtual tradeshows. Virtual tradeshows are an online environment that stays live online for a predetermined period of time. During this time, attendees can connect with one another, via the Internet, without travel.
The structure of a virtual tradeshow is not that different from a regular tradeshow. There is an exhibit hall where one can attend or build their own display booth. These virtual booths are used for the same purpose as booths at a regular show, they exhibit information related to your offered products/services. Virtual tradeshows may also include web conferences, webinars, or other educational presentations. Tracking devices allow exhibitors to view the flow of traffic.
Virtual trade show visitors fill out an online registration form to create on online badge and then can access the exhibit hall to visit the various booths. The booths oftentimes reflect the companies real world booth. A virtual booth will have several icons that will trigger different responses. There may be icons that a visitor would select for instant communication with the exhibitor, whether it be via instant message, email, or voice call, is all up to the exhibitor. There may also be icons that allow you to view videos and other multimedia presentation materials. Users within the tradeshow usually create avatars as a visual representation.