No one can see into the future with certainty and COVID-19 has proved this beyond doubt. As we come in to Q4 2020 and start to think about moving forward into 2021, and in particular how we market to customers without the ability to interact on a face-to-face level, it seems highly likely that physical trade shows will not be taking place for the foreseeable future.
We’re primarily social animals who enjoy face-to-face interaction. The pandemic is preventing us from doing this and it’s clear we could be in this situation for a considerable time, so we need to find new ways to interact.
The change we’re all experiencing is taking us out of our comfort zone and forcing us to see beyond what we are used to. Turning a physical event into a virtual one represents an opportunity to do business differently, which could be a godsend for many in 2021.
The virtual experience
Before embarking on a virtual event, it’s important to consider the event’s objectives and the right platforms available to make it viable. These include webinars, interactive workshops, virtual exhibitions, product demos and remote training, depending on your target audience.
Many people attend trade events to network and socialise whilst keeping up-to-date with the latest trends. During a virtual event it’s important to meet attendees’ expectations and keep them engaged by developing a relaxing atmosphere with participation via quizzes, surveys and virtual messaging.
When we participate on a conference call, webinar or workshop, it’s easy to get distracted by what’s going on around us. Using virtual or augmented reality is an engaging way to bring a virtual event to life and actively involve the audience.
When delegates attend a physical event, they often look out for product samples and ‘goodies’, which is all part of the experience to see and get a feel for products. So how do you solve this issue during a virtual event?
You could consider sending registered delegates a sample or goodie bag pre- or post-event that includes special offers or the option to ‘try before you buy’. This can make the event stand out from others and encourage more people to participate.
A positive spin-off of a virtual event is the ability to reuse the content, especially for those who were unable to attend, so they can watch highlights of the event at a time that suits them. This content can also be shared via social media and YouTube channels for a specified time to deliver an added return on investment.
Recently both FMC and Software of Excellence hosted virtual events and the statistics speak for themselves. The Online Dentistry Show had over 1500 unique attendees and 11,600 booth engagements. The SOE event had over 3500 registrations and 1200 attendees over 2 days. So both these events were well attended by the profession.
The next Online Dentistry Show will be held on January 29th 2021 and The Online Private Dentistry Show incorporating: Digital Dentistry, Clinical Dentistry and The Business of Dentistry, will be held on 26th February 2021. Click here for more information…
Need help with your marketing strategy? We are on hand to help with strategy and budget planning to make sure you can deliver the most effective marketing plan to make 2021 a highly successful year.