Why Trade Show Organizers Disappointed with Virtual Events Platform?

Exhibitors really don’t like Virtual Event Platform

For the past two years, we’ve seen virtual events as a widespread alternative to live or in-person events. But, in the case of trade shows and exhibitions, trade show organizers aren’t facing a smooth transition to the virtual events platform. The major loophole in the event industry! 

First of all, virtual events have quickly swift the event industry since the pandemic. Yes, many high-profile events like the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the annual Adobe Summit, and many more have recently pivoted to virtual later this year.  

As there are fairly well-tested content-driven formats online already, conferences, concerts, and seminars are making a smooth transition to the virtual world. 

There is one major category of events that is notably absent from this list: “Trade shows”. 

Despite lockdowns, trade shows and exhibitions haven’t increased their virtual presence as much. According to Forbes, most of the industry’s major events have either ceased or been postponed to a later date, with few moving to a virtual format. 

Trade shows organizers present a unique set of challenges when moving online, which may explain why they’ve been slow to adapt, and some of the existing techs that enable virtual trade show are not as reliable as it needs to be. Let’s see why? 

Why did Trade Show Organizers didn’t like the Virtual Events Platform?

Before getting into the challenges they face, let’s have a quick glimpse of the new survey digs here. 

As already said, trade show organizers are working predominately to keep their exhibitors engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the virtual trade shows have continuously mislaid the spot. 

According to the new survey or report, exhibitors are getting disappointed with virtual platforms in two key areas: the level of engagement is missing with customers and prospects and the second is, their takeaway or ROI from the experience (they didn’t generate high leads and sales). For further ideas, read virtual trade shows lead generating practices in our blog. 

The key challenges that exhibitors experience in the virtual event platforms are, 

  • Virtual event platforms address the need for conferences not for trade shows. 
  • The virtual exhibit hall lacks in providing engagement with attendees and thus they are afraid of their return on investment. 
  • Expo organizers seemed when it come to the content of the conference because they are not having enough time to prepare content. So, they are approaching the AV production company and some may hire an in-house content team. 
  • They are getting a burden to adopt new technical stuff or learn multiple virtual event platform technologies. 
  • Trade show organizers feel that they didn’t have real people staffing in their virtual booths. Simply, they experience a “digital booth with no customization”. 

Let’s discuss their pain points more in detail here. 

Virtual Events Platform Pitfalls To Be Considered By Trade Show Organizers

The Booth Experience is lacking  

Several online shows didn’t have real people staffing for their virtual booths. Virtual events platforms may have photos, flyers, videos, and a button to schedule an appointment by email or messaging, but how does that differ from looking up a business online and clicking the “contact us” button? People get excited while seeing all those 3D stuff and interaction, but invading live elements at a booth often get the feeling that you’re in personal contact. It’s a hard needle to thread. 

Sense of Exploration & Discovery is Missing  

An in-person trade show exhibition let the attendees roam here and there and let the quirky, unusual, and interesting products catch their eye. But, the virtual booths were listed alphabetically, with just their names and logos displayed in a grid. To learn more about the company, you had to browse through the 2,000 or so listings. It was quite cumbersome. 

Difficult to Make Sales and Leads  

Virtual events platform had the opportunity to schedule a meeting or also be able to chat with the corresponding person. But, how can we know that the prospective party is ready to chat online? There was no way to tell if representatives were available in real-time 

Additionally, trade show organizers were unable to save a list of prospective leads to follow up later. Unless you have the time to copy and paste each one into a search box. If Linkedin, Hubspot, or any other CRM solution had been integrated, following leads would have been much easier. To sort this out, HexaFair offers the best virtual trade show platform with a social lounge to build deeper connections among attendees and exhibitors. 

Inadequate training for the Exhibitors 

Content for the conference was one of the biggest headaches for exhibitors. The conference was sponsored by several exhibitors who gave presentations in multiple languages, either live or prerecorded. 

Actually, exhibitors didn’t have much knowledge and time to prepare the content because of the inadequate training given by the organizers. On the other hand, there are no good structure documents on what size video should upload, specifications of the virtual booth, and other manuals needed for exhibitors. All those stuff leads frustration to for the exhibitors. 

Don’t Blame the Platform 

There is no doubt that any one of these challenges would frustrate trade show organizers. The lack of filtering and search options, as well as slow loading times, frustrate potential buyers. The lack of technical support reduces virtual trade shows to little more than alphabetical directories. Certainly not a marketplace! 

These points are anecdotal, but we see them again and again. In the end, simply don’t blame the software if your exhibitors and sponsors don’t enjoy their virtual event experience. It’s up to you. 

So, these are a few pitfalls that expo organizers are facing so far. But the technology will address all your pain points. For this, all you need to do is make your consideration carefully before choosing the right virtual trade show platform. 

General Tech Checks for Trade Show Organizers

  • Examine how exhibitors and sponsors are classified or organized? 
  • Can the platform offer multiple exhibitor spaces or all exhibitors in a cluster manner? 
  • Check all those specifications of the event platform are well-structured? 
  • What are the best ways for exhibitors to stand out, and what information can prospective buyers obtain about them? 
  • Ask about what type of branding and theming options are available to make your brand stand out?
  • How is contact information displayed? Do the booth representatives engage with the audience via text/audio/video chat in real-time? 
  • Does your platform have product display features in real-time? 
  • Does the product displayed in the booth have a secure shopping cart solution? Do organizers have their control panel to manage product information? 

Conclusion

That’s it! While evaluating platforms for your online event these are the basic considerations to keep in mind. The combination of good organization and the right platform choice ensures exhibitors and trade show organizers are not left behind.  

To harness the power of the right platform choice, select HexaFair – #1 Software to conduct a 3D virtual trade show where exhibitors and visitors from the industry meet up to exchange information, services, and trends. Request a demo or contact our team now! 

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