Don’t have the time or budget to attend a trade show? Do it online. Virtual trade shows are becoming more and more popular in a wide range of industries—and it’s easy to see why. Here are a few advantages they can have.
They’re affordable. With a virtual trade show, you don’t have to pay travel costs such as hotel rooms, plane tickets, and food for yourself or your attending staff. Many virtual trade shows have lower registration fees than traditional shows—and some don’t charge at all.
They’re time-efficient. Traditional trade shows can take a lot of time to travel to. With a virtual trade show, there’s no travel required. You can get the same networking opportunities and exposure to new companies you would at a traditional show—in a timeframe that’s convenient for you.
They’re not crowded. Physical trade shows can be exciting and stimulating—but sometimes the crowds can get tiresome, especially around some of the more popular booths. With a virtual trade show, you never have to wait in line to talk to a company representative—because there are no crowds or lines. You can enjoy the booths and presentations in the comfort of your own office, and live chat with company representatives without braving the crowds.
It’s easy to follow up. In physical trade shows, you return to your office with a bag of marketing collateral, business cards and perhaps notes about the companies you may want to get back in touch with. Do you ever touch that bag again or does it sit until you find time to go through it? If you’re like a lot of people, you may never find the time.
With a virtual trade show, all that contact and company info is organized automatically and saved digitally—plus, it’s easy to integrate with your own email and contact system. So you don’t have to search for info later, and following up is easy.
Physical trade shows are a great place to network and catch up with your associates—but it’s not always easy to travel to them as often as you’d like. Virtual trade shows give you flexibility to attend more events, and you’re not limited by geography or cost.
Both traditional and virtual trade shows are valuable ways to network and stay plugged in to the industry. Virtual trade shows aren’t a replacement for a physical show—but they’re both a cost- and time-efficient way to enhance your networking efforts.