Promotion & Events
We’ve all been to trade shows or similar events with rows and rows of exhibitors each with gimmicks, chachkas, and big bowls of candy and pens that exhibitors somehow think will attract qualified prospects. Then there is at least one person in each row that tries to draw you over with some cheesy line about how their product is just what you needed. And while you’ll usually find something of interest at these events, they’re usually very over stimulating, don’t provide me a great deal of business benefit, and cause my feet to ache while I carry around bags of literature that I usually end up picking through just before throwing out.
But now I’ve changed my mind! Today I attended Marketing Prof’s Digital Marketing World. An all day event jam packed with all the things I find interesting about these shows, but all from the comfort of my desk. Admission was free, there were far fewer and more relevant booths to navigate through, and all of the literature was downloadable so I didn’t dislocate a shoulder carrying them home.
Kudos to InXpo who provided the virtual event environment. It was one of the most seamless and well executed virtual events I have attended with intuitive areas for presentations, gathering literature, chatting and even business card drops for prize drawings.
As my cursor rolled over a booth in the main interface, a small pop-up quickly told me what the firm did. Wow! One click and I was inside the booth where I could get more info, see a video, or leave without being hassled if I wasn’t interested. A pet peeve at trade shows has always been seeing something that catches my eye, but not knowing what the company does — so it’s really hard to ask an intelligent question.
Just this week I was a show for the packaging industry. Booth after booth was filled with a variety of packaging samples, many for the cosmetics industry. Some exhibitors were printers, some made dyes and did color matching, while others made plastics used in the packages. The problem was that I couldn’t tell from their booths, who did what. Exhibitors can’t expect folks to walk into every booth to find what they’re looking for.
Two of my favorite exhibits at this virtual event were Hubspot, because of their ongoing suburb ability to engage their audience, and Emma because of the clarity and simplicity of their message, despite the volume of information they offered.
My favorite part of the virtual show was the fact that it was actually pretty easy to meet other attendees, something that I usually don’t get to do a lot of. There were chat rooms where you could meet folks with similar interests and get a peek at their profile….. if they filled it in.
Not every exhibitor took full advantage of the interactive or communication advantages available, but overall the experience was far less stressful and more rewarding for me than any “real life” trade show that I have gone to recently.