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Virtual Trade Shows- An Opportunity for SMEs?

In a time where sales are at a historic low due to COVID-19, it becomes especially important to focus on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s setbacks. One of the ways in which SMEs have been harmed is with the complete dissolution of physical trade shows because of social distancing measures.

For decades, trade shows have served as a vital marketing tool due to the wide visibility and exposure they offer. Taking these benefits into account, it can be seen why SMEs rely heavily on the attendance of trade shows. With a large number of live exhibitions and conferences cancelling or postponing their events to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, interest has turned quickly to digital alternatives.

By holding trade shows virtually, SMEs can reap benefits like the elimination of travel costs, reduction in the carbon footprint, higher exposure, and providing better reporting through online databases and analytics that hold vital customer information. Some reports suggest that 60% of organisers say that Virtual Events and Virtual Trade Shows deliver more leads than physical events.

Virtual trade show tips for SMEs include:

Pre-book Virtual Meetings

Arrange meetings with leads prior to the event using attendees lists. Make sure you are identifying the most promising leads and pre-scheduling meetings with them. But, make sure you’re checking the event agenda first, so your meetings are scheduled at convenient times that invitees are more likely to accept. Many meeting-scheduling tools will allow you to include an access link to a virtual meeting to make the process even more seamless. Promote your meeting sign-up link on your social channels for interested leads to sign themselves up for meetings with your team.

Prepare Attention-Grabbing Content

Capturing the attention of prospects is hard in an in-person event, made more difficult when it comes to a virtual event. It is important to have crafted messages that will cut through the clutter and prompt participants to read, and even engage. Share testimonials, statistics, and facts that are unique to your brand and company. You could take it a step further and created customized messages per persona since the job title should be visible to you.

Follow Up

Don’t forget to follow up after the show. The virtual format gives you a unique opportunity to collect data from attendees. You must continue to nurture the relationship after the show by offering even more value than what was shared in the virtual booth.

For full access to HMC’s report on the top industry events for 2021/22, or for more information on how HMC can help your business prepare for virtual trade shows, please complete the form below or contact croia.gallen@hmcglobal.co.uk

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