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