COVID-19 has changed (temporarily, at least) how we live and how we do business in 2020. Just 6 months ago, few could have imagined that we wouldn’t be rushing to work at 7 am to beat traffic. Our breakfast table would become our office desk. Face-to-face meetings would be replaced by video conferences and IMs. And every weekday would be a bring-your-kid-to-work day. But life must go on and nobody knows this better than the organizers of tradeshows.
Tradeshows, one of the most profitable B2B models and an annual highlight in company calendars, have been cancelled one by one since February this year. Thanks to social distancing guidelines still in place across the country, nobody’s jumping the gun to announce physical expos.
They’ve mostly gone virtual.
Many business experts argue that virtual tradeshows may defeat the purpose of hosting them. After all, expos serve a multitude of purposes for both exhibitors and visitors. Attendees discuss, test, and purchase new technologies and products. Live demos keep the crowds excited. People look forward to an opportunity to check out the competition, network, and build relationships with industry counterparts in an informal social atmosphere. Then there is the education component. Tradeshows are a great opportunity to participate in educational seminars that help professionals improve their skill set and business-owners scale up their business.
Can virtual expos achieve all that?
Indeed, it is a challenge. Replicating a real-life experience in a 2D or 3D environment is incredibly difficult with high volumes of participation. And delivering the same value in someone’s kitchen, as opposed to a sprawling exhibition ground, seems daunting to accomplish.
But it is being done. Tradeshow hosts are working overtime to meet these challenges. And tradeshow-goers are re-adjusting in order to stay informed and on track with their business-building goals.
Upcoming Virtual Tradeshows
• The annual Truck Product Conference held by NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, will be held virtually and is scheduled for September 2020. (Find out more by clicking HERE.)
• The Cable-Tec Expo, the largest cable telecommunications and technology tradeshow, will host a virtual event that includes 60+ participating countries from October 12-15. Free! (Find out more by clicking HERE.)
• Waste Expo, the largest waste and recycling event in North America, will go live with their 4-day event from September 14-17. (Find out more by clicking HERE.)
• AREMA, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, is holding their annual conference virtually. It will take place September 13-17. (Find out more by clicking HERE.)
• Building Innovation 2020, hosted by the National Institute of Building Sciences, will take place on August 18-19. (Find out more by clicking HERE.)
Check for industry-related tradeshows you’d like to register for this year. Chances are they may have gone online with the event.
Advantages of Virtual Tradeshows
- Tracking lead generation is easier, due to built-in tracking systems that record data from your downloaded company materials.
- Cost-effectiveness is increased, because you don’t have to spend on airlines, hotels, and meals to attend the event.
- They are more inclusive, because more members of your staff can attend the event and build their knowledge base.
- They are environmentally friendly, because they eliminate the need to transport materials and people, accumulating carbon footprints.