Someday we’ll be back in our favorite exhibit halls, enjoying the activity and excitement of a live trade show. In the meantime, we are fortunate to have some fantastic tools at our disposal to continue to put our products and services in front of prospects, and generate leads.

A virtual trade show is a convenient and cost-effective option for reaching a wider audience and boosting engagement. With easy access, convenient navigation, on-demand content, and real-time interactions, you’ll create a lead-nurturing environment from the start.

Here are some tips and best practices for lead generation during a virtual trade show: 


1. Create an eye-catching & engaging registration landing page

Like a visually appealing booth design helps you attract visitors in a live trade show event, your registration page should be attractive, branded, and welcoming. 

Provide a clear overview of the important details of the event, such as date, time, and how to access it. Additionally, let the audience know what’s in it for them. Outline what attendees can expect to gain, and any special incentives you’re offering.


2. Develop cohesive marketing assets

You’ll need to create product images, videos, brochures, and advertising assets well in advance of your digital event. 

Your assets should be clearly connected to your brand and to the virtual trade show. Align colors, verbiage, and branding with the theme and experience of your digital booth. 


3. Build a visually compelling virtual trade show booth

Make your audience feel more connected and comfortable by providing the visuals they are accustomed to enjoying at an in-person trade show. 

One option is to create a digitally rendered 3-D booth for your attendees to explore. Your only limit is your imagination. We’ve seen virtual car shows in one “booth,” a beach location complete with clickable starfish, and even a virtual booth on a yacht!


4. Provide quality, interactive content

Most marketing strategies are built around the benefits you can offer to your audience. Your virtual trade show marketing efforts should follow suit.

What can you provide to your attendees that will be valuable and engaging? Here are a few examples of both rich media content and static content that you can offer:

  • Live videos: Almost anything that you would do in-person at a trade show, such as demonstrations and walk-throughs, can be done via live video.

  • Live Webinars: Pick a useful topic and include hard-to-find information and thought leadership. 

  • Q&A sessions: Open the floor for questions, allowing your audience to engage with you and address any queries or concerns.

  • Ebooks: Craft a handy resource for attendees that they can download after providing some contact information. 

  • Guides, tips, and checklists: You know your audience better than anyone! Get creative and find ways to solve a challenge for them with your content.


5. Analyze participation 

Live and pre-recorded videos give you an opportunity to learn more about your attendees. 

Keep an eye on engagement metrics such as duration of video watched, amount of participation, etc., to segment your leads. Lead scoring efforts work best with three segments: high engagement, medium engagement, and low engagement. 

To encourage engagement, you can offer incentives such as points for comments and interactions which can be redeemed for rewards.


6. Implement live chat tools

Would you want your leads walking into an empty booth? Build a lead-nurturing environment by ensuring that someone is always available to greet attendees and answer questions. 


7. Allow users to upload content in real-time

How will you collect contact information from your attendees? Make it easy with an accessible form, or give users a place to “drop” their business card for maximum lead generation. 


8. Integrate with e-Commerce

If you can sell your product online, use PayPal or debit/credit card integrations to make sales during the event. Doing this will maximize the lucrative potential of a shortened sales cycle.


9. Provide accessibility features

Color contrast, text adjustment, page narration, video captioning, and other accommodations can make your virtual experience accessible for all attendees.


10. Promote via digital channels

Email, social media, website banners, and PPC ads work well for virtual trade show promotions. Your potential attendees are likely to be online, engaging with digital channels. Meet them where they are and center your valuable content.


11. Make content available on-demand after event is over

Provide easy-to-use links that allow your attendees to access and save any of your virtual event resources. Consider providing this on an exit screen AND via follow-up emails.


12. Enable post-event data-driven lead tracking

Your analytics can uncover some crucial lead generation insights:

  • Number of attendees

  • Content views & download volume

  • Number of interactions

  • Volume and value of sales transactions performed

  • Number of applications dropped


13. Conduct a solid retrospective

All hands on deck to discover what worked, what didn’t, and what to do differently next time. For example, if engagement spiked in one area of your webinars, develop some related content for future marketing efforts.

Have questions about your strategy, or need a digital 3-D booth rendered? Reach out to the trade show gurus at Exhibit Options. We’re ready!

Tags: Resources