It’s been over a year since the first national lockdown due to COVID-19 – and its impact on trade shows is still ongoing across the country.
With no certainty as to when these in-person events will be able to resume safely, hundreds of organisations are looking to alternative means of hosting trade shows to ensure the simultaneous wellbeing of their visitors and employees and the growth of their business.
Virtual trade show platforms have stepped into the spotlight as a result, offering these businesses and trade show attendees the ideal alternative to in-person events to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
In fact, as a result of the pandemic, research has found that as much as 93% of organizers are looking to invest in virtual events moving forward. What’s more, as we outlined in a previous blog, virtual events are likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future.
This is not only due to the plethora of benefits that these platforms can offer, however. The impact of COVID-19 on events is predicted to last beyond the end of the pandemic, with social distancing and other measures likely to remain in place and some people choosing not to attend physical events for their safety.
Read on to learn more about why virtual trade show platforms offer the perfect social distancing solution for this scenario:
3 reasons that virtual trade show platforms offer an ideal social distancing solution
1. You don’t have to put a limit on the number of attendees
While planning for post-coronavirus trade shows, some organizers are considering limited ticketing, or hiring larger, more expensive event spaces in order to effectively implement social distancing measures.
With a virtual platform, however, there is no need to put a cap on attendance or blow your budget on a larger event space than you would normally.
Trade shows hosted on the Gravit8 platform, for example, are completely scalable depending on your requirements – whether you wish to attach a virtual trade show booth to an external organiser’s show platform, or you want to want to host an entire event – and can host as many attendees as you desire.
2. You can fully interact with attendees
In a post-coronavirus, in-person trade show environment, booth managers and attendees will likely still have to remain at a physical distance from one another and make use of PPE.
This will make it much harder to communicate on a meaningful level, and consequently build rapport and connections – and where connections cannot be made, businesses cannot thrive.
A virtual trade show platform eradicates this issue entirely. Although your trade show attendees could be physically across the globe from your booth managers, they’ll be brought together via a host of different communication channels, such as video meetings and live chat functions.
Gravit8 in particular takes this to a whole new level by giving trade show attendees multiple opportunities to interact live with your business; not only through instant messaging and video discussions, but also by implementing streamed webcasts with Q&A and live polling.
3. Attendees can still get hands-on with your products
In-person trade shows give attendees the chance to physically interact with your products and services. One example might be a technology company promoting their latest gaming controller, which visitors can physically pick up, hold and play with to see if it is to their liking.
Trade show booths also frequently offer flyers, pamphlets, business cards and other physical documentation for visitors to take away with them as a means of lead generation and nurturing.
Sadly, due to the highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus and other illnesses such as the common cold, it is likely that these more interactive displays and physical documents will be limited or restricted once in-person trade shows can take place again.
These physical interactions play an essential role in the success of trade shows for businesses. As hypothesised by this research study:
“Touching (that is, physically connecting to) an object that is associated with a service fosters feelings of being psychologically connected to the service and, consequently, induces positive behavioural intentions towards the service.”
Thankfully, virtual trade show platforms can counteract this to a surprising extent. Using the Gravit8 platform, for example, businesses can incorporate 3D models of their products that visitors can interact with on their own devices at home – no antibacterial gel required!
Businesses can also provide their trade show booth visitors with a wealth of branded downloadable/printable content, such as brochures, guides, business cards and more with the platform, ensuring that their brand remains at front of mind long after the trade show’s virtual doors have closed.
Let’s bring your business and prospects together.
While live events will always be at our core here at Gravit8, we have made it our goal in the meantime to cultivate human connections in virtual spaces, and subsequently support businesses to thrive within the new normal.
In fact, we’ve successfully enabled a wide variety of businesses to implement virtual trade shows as a social distancing solution with our Gravit8 platform over the last year, some of which you can explore in more detail here.