Quick Tips to Attending a Virtual Trade Show

by Maria Pergolino on April 1, 2009

Since today MarketingProfs is holding a Virtual Trade Show, I thought I would post some quick tips on how to participate if this is your first time.

Fitting it into your day:

First, log in, watch the intro, and get a feel for the event. Check around and see what is of interest. I open each of the areas in a different screen. Then look at the agenda and choose what sessions you want to attend. Like real trade shows you get to pick sessions that are interesting to you. And you can log in and out so you don’t waste time when you aren’t watching a presentation.

These sessions are recorded in advance, but then often have live Q&A at the end. If you miss a session you wanted to attend, you can watch the recording by logging into the trade show in the next few weeks, as it is recorded. The only thing you will miss is the Q&A. Spend any time you want networking as this can only be done today. All the sessions and downloads can be viewed later if needed.  Most virtual trade shows are available to be watched for three months past the original date.

Lounge:

Go in. Say hi. Start a chat on a topic. This is supposed to be fun. Please don’t just throw up your twitter account and ask for followers. That’s kinda lame. Instead, introduce yourself, say hi, and see if you can add anything to the conversations that are happening.

Chat and Email:

Want to talk to someone in private. There is chat like AIM chat and email. Also, make sure to check a box in your profile to send the emails to your inbox. That way you don’t have to worry about missing any notes people my send you during the show.

Prizes

Some prizes are drawn at random, but others require visiting or participating in a booth. This is because, depending on how the tradeshow is set up, vendors get the leads from the people that visit their booth. Also, these leads are sold as higher value than those who do not visit the booth. If part of the fun to you is a chance to win prizes, stop in each of the booths and say hi. While there, take time to check out their resources. In the past I have seen great thought leadership pieces and articles at these events.  Also, you are already signed in so you don’t have to fill out a bunch of forms to get the content that you want to read.

Offers:

Also check the booth for offers.  In the MarketingProfs booth at the Digital Marketing World Spring Virtual Trade Show you can get 30% their premium offer.  Though I have seen this as a buy one get one offer around the holidays and 50% offer at the last virtual trade show, 30% isn’t bad if you were going to purchase it anyway.  Other booths may be listing event only offers as well.  Make sure to check it out.

Want to see a Virtual Trade Show in action? Here is a quick video: http://goview.com/?id=2c0052f2-d0b9-4c17-8884-2dfc0dac80a5

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