COVID-19 may not have started the trend of companies and businesses opting for digital and virtual events such as a virtual trade show but it did accelerate the process.
The shift to virtual-only methods did not come easy though as businesses large and small found themselves having to adjust to a new landscape.
Research indicates that 32% of event planners did not make revenue from virtual events in 2020. That is concerning and something which needs to change for the viability of virtual trade shows.
If you are looking to maximize the return on investment (ROI) for your virtual trade show, then the following are some crucial measures you will need to take.
Establish KPIs of your virtual trade show
To measure your ROI, you first need to be clear on what it is that you want your virtual trade show to achieve and what the objective is for it.
Is it dissemination of marketing material? Lead generation? Attracting qualified meetings?
Understanding and honing in on your objective will then allow you to set the relevant benchmarks and markers with which to judge and measure the results of your virtual show.
If you have the data but nothing to measure or compare it with then it is as good as useless.
Key performance indicators give vision, direction, goals, and markers with which to measure your event against.
The online sphere is more than just an ocean; it is akin to the cosmos. If you thought competing in physical trade show events for views and attention was difficult then virtual trade shows are a whole new ballgame.
Competition is very intense in virtual events since not only does your virtual show have to compete for attention with other events but also entertainment and social media platforms. Why should people attend your virtual trade show when they could watch a movie on Netflix and read up about your event later?
66% of event planners believe that competition in the virtual event space has become a major concern.
You need to focus and lock down your marketing strategy well ahead of time of your virtual trade show. It needs to be coordinated and systematic across multiple online channels and rolled out in several stages.
Audience attention is fleeting in the virtual space; repeated and effective marketing will help them to retain your virtual trade show in mind and thus ensure a higher audience.
Pick the right date for your virtual trade show
Similar to the previous point, the date and time you choose will be crucial to maximizing your ROI.
Business calendars are jam-packed as they have always been and the shift to virtual spaces has increased that conundrum.
Picking the right date can mean the difference between an audience below 100 or in the high hundreds.
Research well on calendar dates and schedules for other prominent industry events then pick the best date for your virtual trade show which doesn’t have too big events near it.
The correct technology mix
Paramount to the success of your virtual trade show and thus your ROI will be selecting the right technology mix for your event.
Multiple services cater to hosting events of all scales and sizes with some being better suited than others.
Are you focusing on a small and exclusive clientele? Then opting for a premium service will serve to increase your event prestige and buzz which will likely lead to a better ROI. Do you want to target a mass audience where anyone can join in? In that case, a live stream option will be essential for major social media platforms.
Facebook was used by 52% of event planners to market their events such as virtual trade shows.
The right matchmaking technology which best ensures qualified B2B meetings with clients and aids your virtual trade show in pre-targeted networking will also be crucial. Aladdinb2b’s technology is the leading meeting and matchmaking application for virtual trade show needs.
Data collection methods
We mentioned the importance of setting concrete and measurable KPIs.
That was step one in maximizing your ROI. Step two is ensuring you have rigorous data collection from multiple entry points ranging from audience attendance to audience participation to audience duration and many other metrics for your virtual trade show.
Extensive data will allow you to best measure and compare the success and ROI of your virtual trade shows.
A large audience may look good on paper but it will do nothing for your ROI if the data shows it led to poor lead generation or the average duration of their attendance was limited.
Your virtual trade show might end at its scheduled date but that doesn’t mean your plan for the event should too.
Unless and until you have a properly planned and systematic post-event strategy then your virtual trade shows won’t be able to fully capitalize on its success.
Post-event strategy deals with follow-ups, scheduled qualified meetings, B2B meetings, and engaging interested audiences so you can eventually secure them as customers.
Your ROI won’t truly be maximized without an effective post-event strategy.
The right event planner for your virtual trade show
We already stressed this before but picking the right technology mix will be vital for your ROI.
Similarly, partnering with the best event planning organizations for your virtual trade shows will not only ensure ROI maximization but guarantee it in many cases.
AladdinB2B specializes in virtual trade shows and our B2B matchmaking formula best determines the perfect match, based on the company’s requirements. This results in higher ROI for the exhibitor, enhanced networking opportunities, and a better experience for the show’s attendees.
Aladdin was the official partner of Gitex 2020, the largest in-person tech trade show in the world. More than 1,200 private companies, government entities, and startups from 60 nations attended the event.
So if you want to successfully launch your virtual trade shows, then AladdinB2B will not only show you but also help you with our vast database of business profiles which mean better lead generation and thus, ROI maximization.