This client cancelled their in-house trade shows due to the current covid19 pandemic and restrictions on large gatherings. These trade show experiences include a combination of social events, networking, informal meetings, breakout sessions and 1-2-1 introductions for all attendees. Buyers and industry experts are usually able to source new products, make introductions and scope innovation happening in the industry. This case study shows how EVENTMIND can facilitate a virtual trade show which enabled the client to remain connected to its food and drink community, facilitate networking and discovery of great products.
We outline the four main phases of developing and launching the clients virtual trade show in order to achieve the objectives stated above.
Phase One: Design the trade show agenda, experience and schedule
The virtual showcase/exhibition will be live and accessible to buyers and authorised attendees over a period of time, so that suppliers, vendors and sponsors benefit from greater exposure to buyers and the industry. We recommended 14-21 days with fixed dates for 1-2-1 meetings to take place so that buyers and suppliers have personalised meeting schedules. It also gives buyers more flexibility and time to access the virtual trade show, review and browse exhibiting suppliers so that they can request preferred 1-2-1 meetings. for example. This is a benefit in-person trade shows cannot offer as exhibitors are only able to exhibit and have access to buyers for a limited time (1-3 days depending on the dates of the trade show).
A virtual mixer or party can be arranged to take place just before the virtual trade show goes live (or after if preferred). All buyers, suppliers and authorised attendees can be sent goody bags in advance (these can be physical or virtual) so that they feel connected to and a part of the overall experience. This also encourages a sense of community, collaboration, early networking and builds momentum for the live virtual launch of the trade show. It’s a virtual hospitality experience for attendees. Please note entertainment, activities and introductions can be included in the agenda for the pre (or post) virtual mixer evening. The goody bags can be branded and also include sponsor items etc (exact contents can be agreed upon later).
The trade show will be ‘live’ and open for access to suppliers, buyers and authorised persons over a period of time. Invest NI can also leverage that window of time by arranging industry or organisation specific events, workshops, talks etc if it wishes to. If required and/or preferred, the EVENTMIND team can add virtual workshops and talks to the platform and ensure all users know how to access and login so that the virtual experience is enjoyable and meets the clients objectives.
Phase Two: Collate supplier and sponsor data and content to be uploaded to the platform
Each supplier is assigned their own virtual booth/stand. Content in the form of images, video and documents can be uploaded to the virtual booth. This allows suppliers to be found and viewed by authorised attendees and buyers throughout the period of time the virtual trade show is live and open.
We will use a secure cloud to gather supplier and sponsor (if applicable) data and then upload it to the virtual platform. Suppliers can be given customer login details so they can view their booths as well as attend any events or meetings. By arrangement, if the client would like, we can allow authorised attendees and buyers to request a 1-2-1 virtual meeting or make further enquiries of the supplier. Both suppliers and buyers will be provided information on how to access and navigate the platform confidently.
During the life cycle of the trade show we can support the client in creating marketing content which drives more buyer traffic to the platform (emails for example) so that buyers are encouraged to browse and request information from suppliers or 1-2-1 meetings. This also means suppliers have increased visibility on the platform.
Phase Three: Monitor and maintain the virtual event platform throughout the lifecycle of the trade show
The EVENTMIND team will monitor and maintain the virtual platform throughout the lifecycle of the trade show so that supplier booths are full functioning and accessible to buyers and authorised attendees. This will also mean your internal IT team does not have additional work to do in terms of setting up and monitoring the platform. We will also ensure any queries or concerns from users are addressed and resolved so that all attendees enjoy the experience, are able to communicate with others on the platform with ease and buyers can have unlimited access to exhibiting suppliers.
We will monitor any requests made by buyers and industry experts for 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers and ensure these are passed onto the client swiftly so that suppliers can leverage potential sales quickly and easily. EVENTMIND will also facilitate the virtual 1-2-1 meetings between suppliers, buyers and the client so that they can meet easily without worrying about managing any technology and concentrate on building relationships and facilitating sales.
Phase Four: Collate data and analytics gathered throughout the lifecycle of the trade show
EVENTMIND will monitor, track and collate attendee data and analytics gathered throughout the lifecycle of the trade show. This will enable the client to gather feedback from all users, track ROI and potential sales which may result from any 1-2-1 meetings.
EventMind helps organisations design, develop and manage virtual events and experiences. We enable organisations to create community, encourage collaboration and wow attendees using digital tools and platforms. Our expert teams use their industry knowledge and our signature Virtual Profit Framework to create custom and strategic virtual events which support organizational goals, needs and challenges. The four pillars of our framework are also our core values: content, community, creativity and collaboration. Drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 0333 050 9360 to discuss how we can help you.