Virtual Trade Shows: Are You on Board Yet?

During the last decade the virtual world has transformed how we do business. Trade shows, once believed to be a physical realm in which suppliers and customers could shake hands and meet face to face, are now entering the virtual world. This is no longer a trend, but rather, the way of the future.

The list of benefits begins with the much lower cost. No airfares, hotel room charges or entertainment budgets. The less air travel that is undertaken, the better for our environment. And perhaps most pivotal is the time saved for people like you and me; we don’t have to be away from our office and family for several days, just being online for a set period.

Are virtual trade shows, other than the obvious “geography”, much different from in-situ ones? For many, the virtual world is intimidating, but statistics indicate this is growing exponentially – analysts are already projecting the virtual events industry to reach upwards of $18.6B by 2015 (Market Research Media, 02/07/10). What better time than the present to begin to embrace the concept.

Certainly, the virtual approach is similar to the live event because the purpose is, ultimately, the same, but what’s missing is the physical contact.

When a new technology invades our psyche, there is a natural human resistance, to shy away from it, especially among those of us who grew up in the pre-computer days. But given all the benefits of operating in the new mode, it just makes good business sense to hop on board, and take advantage of what this intelligent, user-friendly technology offers. See you in cyberspace!

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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