The business world thrives on exhibitions and trade shows where professional relationships are fostered. With the advancement of technology and digitization of every sphere, these exhibitions have been relocated to the virtual world from the physical. Therefore, the concept of a virtual fair for business and trade has been adopted across fields as it is safe and has a low budget.
The Increasing Popularity of Online Exhibitions:
Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, virtual trade shows have gained more popularity since 1993, like an online revolution. Their structure is based upon the traditional model of a trade fair, but as the whole process is conducted online, some may use 3D technology.
With major sectors suffering an upheaval of financial crisis due to the COVID-19, it is only natural that such an alternative will undergo explosive growth in the last year. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) especially took to the online platform as they were forced to shut down their physical outlets. This proved to be beneficial for them in a number of ways.
Advantages of Online Exhibitions for Smes:
The least investment efforts are involved in organizing or participating in a virtual fair. Maximum convertible leads can be generated by several companies who may not have got the chance to do so previously because of finances. Organizers do not need to book venues with proper amenities, so the focus can be shifted to improving the online experience instead. For participating SMEs, a lot of the budget is saved on printing materials, transportation of resources, and commuting. Fees are very low for holding webinars, branding activities, advertising, and gamification.
Convenient Sale Processes:
SMEs can conduct sales between events easily on an online platform. Once product lists are integrated, the attendees can browse and add the desired ones to their cart. This builds an adequate Return on Investment (ROI) for the small businesses.
Product documents, including brochures, e-books, guides, product specifications sheets, and other content, can easily be shared across these platforms. Additionally, live demonstrations of products can be conducted through video conferencing with potential buyers.
Facilitates Networking Opportunities:
The virtual trade fairs facilitate easy sharing of e-business cards, scheduling of VIP sessions, and webinars for increased involvement and visibility. Social media and website links can also generate more web traffic. These exhibitions can run longer than physical trade shows, so the timelines are flexible and provide ample opportunities to increase networking.
Customized Branding Options:
The onus is upon the participating SMEs to decorate and customize their branding as they desire. They can put the logos, banners, videos, and other media wherever they prefer. Branded landing pages are especially helpful in setting the tone of the event. Strategic email marketing with offered incentives and discounts will also help in drawing more attendees.
Choosing a virtual fair prevents the organizers and attendees from leaving a carbon footprint. There is a minimum generation of waste material, less energy consumption, and the least risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus in this way. It is simply a more eco-friendly option.
Online exhibitions are not only cost-effective but also the place for employing excellent business strategies. Irrespective of the global situation, marketing events can easily be conducted through these platforms, benefiting SMEs greatly.