We all miss the sheer energy and intensity of a packed exhibition hall with the big beautiful booths and aisles full of attendees doing business. You just can’t replace that productivity and traffic flow, right? We feel you can, but you just have to look at things from a different perspective.
At a live exhibition, the booths are at set locations and you need to find ways to drive traffic down those aisles. In virtual, we have found that it’s less about bringing the attendees to the hall, but rather bringing the expo hall to them.
In virtual, booths can move anywhere you want. They are just URLs, right? Take a look at the analytics and you will see that attendees head primarily to scheduled content and events. With that, the key to delivering exhibitors and sponsors maximum success is to then strategically place them in those very spaces.
Here are some highly effective ways we have found to accomplish this:
- Design conference sessions to include exhibitors that provide products or solutions that are relevant to the topic being discussed. At the conclusion of the session, invite the attendees to step right into those specific virtual exhibits to learn more. Links, like magical windows to the expo hall, can be delivered right in the chat.
- Infuse the agenda with coffee breaks that have different product category focuses, and include direct links to exhibitor pages right in the agenda item.
- Pepper the agenda with opportunities for attendees to network in Thought Leadership or Solution Lounges. In the lounge, each video conference room is focused on a different topic, hosted by an industry expert. This is a great opportunity to invite executives from your exhibiting companies to be that host and mix with targeted attendee prospects. Essentially, each lounge is a part of the expo hall moved into the agenda for a small amount of time.
- Let your exhibitors be attendees. What? That’s right. In virtual, it’s best to never have exhibitors sitting in booths waiting for attendees to visit. Instead, we recommend designing events in such a way that exhibitors can spend their time networking among the attendees throughout the conference and break activities, joining discussions and scheduling direct meetings. In fact, the best case scenario is that your exhibitors are going to their exhibits for meetings that they have already scheduled, as well as for presentations that attendees have signed up for, but never just to sit and wait.
Of course, the key to being able to execute on all of these powerful strategies is to find a platform that is flexible and feature-rich to easily accommodate them. If you would like to see examples of how we do it, just let us know!