Successful hybrid trade shows are not easy to pull off. Especially in an age when COVID-19 has fundamentally changed various aspects of our lives which includes how trade shows and business events are held.
The onslaught of the pandemic forced companies to take their trade shows online as virtual events and try out combinations of both physical and virtual events.
The result is that now with some hope of normalcy returning with inoculation campaigns in full swing, hybrid trade shows seem to be becoming the norm for the future.
Companies have realized that hybrid trade shows offer the best of both worlds and present many of the advantages of both physical and virtual events.
Elements for success of hybrid trade shows
Make no mistake though, just because a hybrid trade show has benefits of both physical and virtual events, does not mean you can jump in without thinking and suddenly switch.
As with anything new, you need to understand what you will be getting into and ensure you have certain elements present and accounted for before you can make your hybrid trade show a success.
What are those elements? Which will differentiate between a smashing success and a fizzled-out event? Read on to find out.
Define objectives of your hybrid trade shows
One of the major advantages of hybrid trade shows is their fluidity and versatility.
The nature of changing technology and how it is used in hybrid trade shows and virtual events means they can be oriented to achieve any number of objectives from public awareness, lead generation, product launches, and many more.
That is why you must lock down what exactly it is that you want to achieve through your hybrid trade show.
Trying to cross off everything on a checklist for every objective under the sun will only make your event scattered and confused, not to mention make reviews a headache.
Concrete objectives will allow you to plan a more targeted and focused hybrid trade show and thus ensure higher chances of success.
Understand your audience
A major mistake you can make when planning a hybrid trade show is assuming your audience to be the same between physical and virtual events.
An event that does not understand its audience will never be successful.
The nature of physical and virtual events is completely different thus it stands to reason that their audiences are completely different as well. The format, structure, style, and organization of a physical trade show are very different from a virtual event.
You will thus need to identify the different audience segments you will be targeting in your hybrid trade show and account for them in the overall structure and format of your event. Live audiences will have different needs and requirements than virtual audiences.
Another point to stress here is that you cannot ignore your virtual audiences or consider them of lower importance than your physical audience. Virtual audiences will require higher and more extensive forms of engagement than a physical audience but if you successfully pull that off then you can achieve lucrative results.
Keep your content engaging
One of the biggest mistakes a hybrid trade show can commit is having the same kind of content available for physical and virtual audiences.
If you take a step like that then you are setting up your event for failure.
Content for virtual audiences needs to be completely different and tailored to a virtual audience. Virtual audiences can more easily opt-out of your event so even if you have higher attendance, it can easily dwindle if your content is not engaging.
Research shows that 39% of event organizers agreed in 2019 that engaging audiences was the most crucial part of a live event. One can imagine that number only goes up for hybrid trade shows and virtual events.
Arrange qualified, pre-targeted meetings
It is no longer enough for trade shows to just be a presentation about your business and move on.
You need to identify and target certain segments of your audience who you consider have the highest possibility of becoming qualified clients.
Hybrid trade shows offer the flexibility and the avenues to have one-on-one meetings with qualified clients and technology such as user participation and engagement can also help you identify potential leads.
The better you can identify and arrange qualified meetings, the more successful your hybrid trade show will be as you will have already started on lead and sales generation.
Partner up with professionals
The worst mistake you can do is to partner up with an amateur event organizer who does not have the sufficient and required expertise to pull off a hybrid trade show.
Not every event organizer can successfully pull off a hybrid trade show which has many moving parts thus you need the services of tried and tested professionals.
Professionals like AladdinB2B not only have vast experience with such events but also offer services like B2B meetings, pre-targeting networking, client database, and custom applications and tools which can substantially boost your hybrid trade show.
How will you be able to tell your event was a success? What measures will you use? What good are clearly defined objectives if you don’t have a comprehensive framework to measure and analyze them?
To determine success, you will need a rigorous and detailed system of analytics and review. Your database should ideally compile and analyze data from a wide variety of input mechanisms and sources to provide the best holistic analysis for your hybrid trade show.
If your analytics infrastructure is lacking, then it will be like driving a cart without a horse. You won’t be able to tell what went wrong and what went right.
To reiterate, the above are just some of the key elements which are crucial to making your hybrid trade show a success.
There are many more and the good thing is, opting for the service of professional trade show organizers like AladdinB2B will ensure that you have these key elements and more. Aladdin specializes in in-person, virtual, and hybrid events and we know what makes each tick.
With our experience in pulling off big events coupled with our powerful B2B matchmaking formula, your hybrid trade show is guaranteed to be a success and ensure a higher ROI, enhanced networking opportunities, and a better experience for the show’s attendees.
Want to make your hybrid trade show a success? Contact our genie today.