Virtual events compared to analogue fairs in 2021
Exhibitions have been inspiring visitors around the world for many centuries. For companies and dealers in particular, exhibitions offer an ideal opportunity to cultivate their contacts and to create a new and expanded network.
In this way, new business relationships can be established or existing ones deepened. However, as a result of the Corona pandemic, virtual exhibitions have now taken on greater importance due to their flexibility and location independence.
In the following blog post, we will explore whether virtual exhibitions are a fair alternative compared to traditional “offline” exhibitions, and whether hybrid events will become an integral part of the exhibition industry in the future.
Offline exhibitions – the conventional trade fair as an important form of corporate communication
Basically, a company uses its own trade show booth to actively mark its industry presence and bring an individual market character to potential customers.
The success model “exhibition” is basically based on these two points:
1. the exhibition is limited in time and therefore gets a time-limited and unique character. Everybody would like to be present at this event, because it cannot be repeated and if so, will only return in a different form and elaboration.
2. the exhibition is location-bound. This makes meetings possible that are otherwise more difficult to achieve due to distance. These lead to the creation of a network that is spread over several locations.
Regardless of which exhibition, which industry and which companies are involved. At a exhibition, it usually happens that large companies invest a larger amount of money in their huge booths and attract the attention of the audience. In contrast, start-ups at exhibitions mainly try to convince with their new, innovative ideas and build a network of contacts that can help them.
Online exhibition – as a new hybrid event in the context of digitalization
In the meantime, we have extensive possibilities through new communication tools, which offer us the experience of a exhibition and at the same time act cost-saving.
Isn’t it about time that the exhibition industry also starts to move with digitalization? To move it forward and create new opportunities for traders in this world on the international market?
Since a traditional exhibition appearance is connected with substantial costs which add up from exhibition booth, transport, coworker costs etc. together, above all smaller enterprises shy away from a fair operational readiness level.
However, virtual exhibitions are not only a good alternative for this reason. Just in the current time often due to cancellations of large exhibitions and the possibility to provide various concepts on on-line events is rescheduled. Not only are these enormously cost-saving, they also allow contacts to be made and maintained via a digital platform and from the comfort of one’s own home.
Digital events save companies the cost of a complex exhibition stand and the transport of the necessary utensils, as well as the transport and accommodation of employees. In addition, due to the registration or login of visitors to their virtual trade fair, companies are able to better process, generate and analyze data. This gives you a clear picture of the success of your online trade show and generates new leads.
By using digital platforms like klar.land, the location as well as the time zone of the visitor of a exhibition is irrelevant. This expands a company’s reach tremendously, as it can build a name and visibility in the International market without the need for extensive travel. Especially if the trade show is available online for a longer period of time, it is possible to reach visitors all over the world and draw attention to the product or service.
Advantages of an online exhibition
1. direct contact with the target audience: through video communication as well as messaging functions, it is possible to be in direct contact with the audience. The main focus here is to be able to listen to several customers with similar concerns and to answer their questions without having to take into account a certain waiting time.
2. Providing white papers and/or case studies: In the event planning of online exhibitions, it is possible for the organizers to contact the visitors of the exhibition digitally in advance and to prepare them for the digital event. This can be done by simple flyers, but also by providing information in the format of a white paper or a case study. In this way, visitors can prepare themselves specifically for the online exhibition and their interest in the agenda and its topics is aroused.
3. worldwide accessibility: by using digital communication channels, the visitors of a virtual exhibition are independent of their location and can participate in the exhibition worldwide. This leads to easier entry into the international market and can be a significant development step for a company.
4. statistics and key figures: In a traditional, analog trade show, tickets are purchased. Therefore, the organizer gets access to the visitor data, but the exhibitor at a trade show usually does not get access to this data. This is different with hybrid events and also online exhibitions. Here the exhibitor gets the data of a ticket or a registration and can use these in the preparation, as well as in the postprocessing of the online exhibition to work out statistics and key figures and to evaluate the success of the online fair.
Virtual exhibitions are a good solution to present oneself without violating contact restrictions. They are also not just a temporary solution to comply with Corona regulations, but will continue to play an important role in the future of the exhibition industry.
Their numerous possibilities to present a company and its product or service, regardless of time and place, will open new doors for companies of all sizes.
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