What Every Exhibitor Should Know About Virtual Events

The following is a guest post from Susan Friedmann.

In a recent webinar I conducted for TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association), “What Every Exhibitor Should Know About Virtual Events,” I highlighted that virtual events can supplement, complement, or replace your physical event. However, I caution exhibitors not to replace their event without totally understanding what you are giving up. Realize that nothing can replace the face-to-face contact that you have at a physical event.

Nielsen Business Media (who organize many virtual tradeshows) have found that the virtual event experience might graphically mimic a tradeshow, but virtual events are currently primarily a social networking environment, especially for the under 50s (sorry to be an ageist).

Virtual events are gaining in popularity, which means as savvy marketers you just can’t ignore them, and hope that if you do, they’ll just go away. It’s just not going to happen.

While they may not replace physical events, the virtual counterparts are becoming more widely used to supplement face-to-face trade shows and conferences, as well as provide ongoing content and follow-up opportunities.

Finally, my all time favorite subject. Don’t have any of your team go on the live or virtual show floor without tradeshow training. It may seem simple to work a virtual show, but winging it will get you winging it results.

The key ingredient to engineer a successful event lies in the simple process of planning and preparation. Easy enough, yet very few exhibitors really take time to truly understand what this means.

Participating in virtual events means not only knowing, and understanding the technology platform, it also means honing the necessary skills for successful results.

Susan A. Friedmann (@TradeshowCoach), CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is an internationally recognized expert and “how to” coach who has traveled the world helping companies achieve profitable results at tradeshows and events. She offers exhibitor training programs to increase results and focus on building better relationships with customers, prospects and advocates in the marketplace.

Virtual Edge Summit 2010

Susan and I will be presenting at the Virtual Edge Summit on February 23, 2010.

Register for the conference: http://virtualedgesummit.com/

Register for InXpoLive@VirtualEdge: http://bit.ly/InXpoLive_Blog

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4 Responses to What Every Exhibitor Should Know About Virtual Events

  1. Dennis Shiao says:

    Steve – interesting strategy from HubSpot and I think it makes sense for them, given their focus on inbound marketing and the effectiveness they’re getting from their blog.

    That being said, when they say they plan to hold their own events, I wonder if that will include virtual events 😉

  2. Mike Volpe says:

    We have participated in some virtual events already! Virtual events (especially your own) are great. We hold many of our own virtual events (depending on your exact definition of a virtual event). Our webinars regularly get thousands of attendees, and we encourage them to interact and chat with each other on Twitter. We also do a live video podcast (HubSpot TV) where we take questions and comments live from the audience on Twitter. And we have participated in more formal virtual events held by the AMA and Marketing Profs.

  3. Dennis Shiao says:

    Thanks, Mike – I’ve seen some Hubspot TV programs and enjoyed them.

    Enjoy the AMA virtual event later this month. For others, here’s the link for this event:


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