The future that we are heading into is more promising, more exciting, and more economical. The concept of hosting a digital exhibition is relatively new. However, after so many museums and events being shut down or cancelled due to the pandemic, nothing more makes more sense than hosting an event digitally. In this article, we shall go more in-depth regarding hosting a digital exhibition.
Types of exhibitions
Exhibitions can be classified into two types, trade exhibitions and consumer exhibitions.
- Trade Exhibition:
Trade exhibitions are usually restricted to a particular number of attendees. Only a specific group of people are allowed to attend such an event.
- Consumer Exhibition:
A consumer exhibition, on the other hand, is one that is opened to the general public. Home expo, travel shows, product exhibitions, etc., are examples of a consumer exhibition. These exhibitions usually revolve around a particular theme, product, or service. These exhibitions typically have a more significant number of people attending them compared to a trade exhibition.
Here’s why an exhibition should be digital
There is so much more convenience with hosting an exhibition online compared to hosting a live-in person event. No doubt, having a show in person has its advantages. However, hosting an event online is more economical and environmentally friendly because there is a massive decline in travelling, food, and other related expenses.
For an online event, all you need is a phone or laptop and good internet access. Online events have also proved to be more beneficial as many people attend online events conveniently. An online event allows the participation of domestic as well as international attendees.
Why is hosting a digital exhibition right for your company?
Go beyond location!
One of the most significant advantages that you will be offering your existing and prospective customers is that they do not have to step out of their homes to be at your exhibition. They can attend your event from anywhere in the world. In this way, you take your exhibition to where your customers are. You do not have to spend on renting a physical venue.
Expanding your reach virtual exhibition will enable you to communicate with your audience worldwide. Since a virtual show has no location-wise restriction, this will allow you to build and make connections with your prospective clients anywhere in the world. Exhibitors can also answer client queries and doubts over your virtual stall.
No capacity restrictions
One of the primary benefits of hosting an event online is that there is no limit on the number of people you invite. There will be some number of people you can invite to the venue at a physical location. However, that’s not the case in the case of hosting a virtual event.
Choose how you promote your brand!
Brands will have more freedom with regards to what advertisement they wish to show to the audience. They can get creative and even display engaging video ads on their virtual stalls.
Access to detailed analytical reports and databases:
Hosting a virtual event will enable you to gain access to valuable information to improve your advertisement and product strategies in the future.
How to host digital exhibitions
Make sure that you have one concept for the event, and work towards improving this concept. It would be best if you then built all the aspects of your event around this particular concept. Brainstorm on your idea, how you want to revolve your content around it? How you want to deliver this to your exhibitors and how you want to take your attendees on this journey.
Attract more people:
Most people worldwide use their phones and laptops, and many of these people use social media and email to connect. As of 2021, around 2.5 billion or more people are using famous social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. Hence finding your audience amongst these people is going to be more simplified now than ever.
Get the right tools:
There are various digital exhibition tools available out there where you can host your event. You can also get in touch with vendors, ask them for a demo, try the best ones, and examine which one works the best for you.
Keep an eye out for little details regarding how your audience interacts with your site and the interface. The audience should have a pleasant experience and at the same time, get valuable knowledge while they are there. Giving your audience a good experience at your exhibition is the key element here. Also, ensure that the ambience at your exhibition is good.
Prepare a list of exhibitors:
Your exhibitors are the ones who will be interacting with the end audience. You have to regulate the kind of content that they will be sharing at their stall. Hence, make sure you know your exhibitors and what to expect from them.
Prepare a schedule
Plan your schedule well and ensure that it aligns with the different time zones since your audience will worldwide. Everyone should follow the schedule to ensure a good flow and continuity of the event. The schedule should be made and communicated promptly, leaving no space for any misunderstanding regarding it.
Manage your attendees
It is crucial to help the attendees along their way. Having an interactive virtual guide to help them along their experience is necessary. Give your attendees an experience that is as personalized as possible, making their experience with your exhibition something to remember.
The content is the single most crucial thing that you will give out at your exhibition. This, indeed, is the part that will require a lot of brainstorming. Your attendees will be there at your exhibition because of the value they will get from your event. You can also gather feedback from people outside your content team, like your sponsors and exhibitors. You never know from where the craziest idea can come.
Secure payment options
Use a safe payment method for transactions. It is always better to be using a secure means of making and receiving payment to avoid any payment related problems later on.
Create real-time online interactions:
Enable real-time interaction with your attendees so that they too get to interact with the exhibitors and the other attendees in real-time, enabling everyone to have a great time on the virtual platform.
Software for digital exhibitions
There are several digital exhibition platforms available to run a digital exhibition. Following are some of the best software for a digital exhibition that you can choose from.
Here is how to create a digital exhibition
To ensure success at your event, you have first to draft a good plan to ensure its success. Following are a few steps to help you with your digital exhibition planning.
- Come up with an exceptional theme:
Your content and everything else that follows after this first step will revolve around your theme for the event. Setting a theme for the event will help your structure the content, schedule, target audience, etc. Ensure that your theme is exciting and creates curiosity amongst your audience.
- Recruit the right exhibitors:
Having a crew on board for this project is essential. Choosing who will be showcasing products or services, and what kind of product and services will be showcased at an event hosted by you is vital.
- Tell your audience about your event:
Pitch your advertisement in a story form in such a way that your viewers can relate to it. You can even make a press release about your event.
- Prepare a schedule:
Your event will be happening virtually. Hence preparing an agenda and communicating this with your team and your exhibitors will help them keep up with the time and plan. Also, ensure that you consider the different time zones of the people who are going to be attending your event.
Tell your audience over social media about your event. Come up with engaging ad copies to grasp their attention. Design your advertisements in a way that makes your audience think that if they don’t attend your event, they could be something they will be missing out on something grand.
- Find the right software:
Several software is available in the market that you could use to host your event. Several companies even allow for a free demo service of their respective software. You could try out this software and see which one works the best for you.
- Review and launch:
Finally, review and check if everything is in place if everyone is informed about what they need to do throughout the event, check-in for all the details one last time before going live.
- Measure your event’s success:
Collect feedback from your attendees and exhibitors via surveys and questionnaires. This will help you determine where you can improve the next time you plan an event.
How to invite visitors to digital exhibitions
Determining your target audience is essential. Once you have prepared that, find out where your target audience will be. Since most people use social media, you will know which platform your audience is most likely to hang out on. You can reach out to your audience with the help of ads and even retarget them again.
How to invite exhibitors
Offering deals and discounts to your exhibitors is the right way of attracting exhibitors to your event. Tell them about your exhibition’s unique selling point and how hosting an exhibition virtually can help them reach out to more people worldwide. You can put out an advertisement inviting exhibitors over social media platforms or directly contact them via email.
Activities during a digital exhibition
Keeping your audience engaged during the entire event is crucial. You can have virtual games, features, and presentations that will keep your audience engaged. Brainstorm with your team for activities to keep your audience engaged during the event.
Hosting a digital exhibition has several advantages and something that most people are looking forward to. If you are planning to host the digital exhibition, then now is the time to dive right into it.