Episode 10: ReVive – The Marketing Podcast for Manufacturers

Virtual Events: Navigating Through Tradeshow Challenges from COVID-19

In this episode of ReVive, hosts Kyle Naber and Jared Falkner are joined by Joe Sadler, an event industry veteran, who provides insights for how to navigate through the new normal of trade shows.
How can I maximize ROI in a virtual trade show? Listen to the full episode to learn strategies and discover tips to make your next virtual event a successful one!

Give me the high-level: ReVive in 5

As many are making the change to virtual tradeshows now, what ultimately makes a virtual event successful? – (4:34)

“Producing and providing virtual events, out of necessity for the last eight months now, I can tell you that some of the same maximums hold from face-to-face objectives. It is always going to be centered around keeping your audience and your targeted message at the forefront and then working back from there as to what information and what message will support that and how will we best deliver that to meet our audience.”

What are some preliminary steps to prepare for a virtual event? – (9:15) 

“In a virtual event, you can’t rely on the efforts of others to create foot traffic. You have to be proactively out there marketing. What I have seen over the last eight or nine months is the brands that can have that good relationship with their targeted audience, and ones that are able to drive an audience to a digital destination is significantly more successful than brands who just rent their space and see what comes of it. You have to be mindful and proactive to not only get people to your booth but also about what your space will look like once the audience visits. At the end of the day, it’s about connecting brands with messages.”

What are some tips for virtual tradeshows? – (10:55)

“As far as content goes, you will want to ensure that everything is optimized, digitally, allowing you to easily distribute it and perhaps rethinking some of your content to accommodate. Instead of a one-page sales sheet, it might be more impactful if you offer a more interactive tool because you now have the means to do it in this digital environment. The most important thing is to focus on what your content is and how you can effectively distribute it.”

What are some advantages to virtual trade shows and how could that help improve in-person events moving forward? – (17:30) 

“One of the good things about digital is, because there is a lower investment upfront, you can treat it more as a data-gathering experience. The all-digital format allows you to easily measure what people are clicking on, what people are spending time on. You take that information and evaluate yourself. This is a good time for exhibitors and brands to use the virtual and digital platform as a test market and data gathering tool for when they get back to live events.”

What do you see as the new normal and the best way to approach that as a brand? – (23:51) 

“If only we had a crystal ball. What we are coming to realize right now is that there will not be a moment in time when a light switch is flipped and everything is opened wide up and live audiences return to the old levels that they were. With virtual events being everyone’s focus right now; everyone is fine-tuning how they are going about things. When live events come back, I foresee the digital and virtual event will live as a companion piece next to your live shows. It might not take a front seat, but it won’t fall off altogether.”

Many brands have seen mixed results in the early returns of trade shows shifting to a virtual format. As we move forward, one of the best things to keep in mind is unlike a face-to-face tradeshow, where you print out your sales collateral and set up your booth for a couple of days, virtual events do not necessarily have the same one-off set up. With a digital space, many are opting to create their own hosted on their website or externally from the event itself. This allows you to have an online branded space that is always available to help you serve your audience meaningful content, and unlike a tradeshow booth, it never has to be taken down. This ultimately allows you to have a created space where you can send attendees or prospects after a show or at any time.

Looking for a strategic partner to help you develop a tradeshow strategy for navigating through digital and potential in-person events? Vive Marketing can help you stand out from the competition with the creation of a successful digital space. To learn more about how Vive Marketing can help, click here to start a conversation with us.

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