Do you remember the last time you have been to a global exhibition?
There were probably so many people from all over the world, all dressed up and ready to meet their next global partners. Company representatives meeting each other, but also competing to be the best and most interesting booth in the hall... This picture seems far away from what we are facing today.
Almost 4,000 fairs and exhibitions worldwide that were planned for 2020, had to go virtual, be cancelled or postponed. Even though most people prefer the first option, today’s virtual exhibitions are more friendly to companies, to visitors and to the environment.
Let’s look at this changing situation from different perspectives. Here are our ideas on pros and cons of virtual fairs:
Pros: Global fairs and exhibitions are great places to meet new people in person, but it takes a lot of time and money to participate in one. Online exhibitions cost less than half of the cost of the traditional fairs and reach out to much more people.
Cons: Nothing can replace a face-to-face contact, or having a coffee together. The first impression is very important when obtaining customers. In traditional fairs you can impress people with your fancy booth, promotional products and experienced salesperson. To get the most out of the virtual fairs, all you can do is to provide an easy way to let people video call you.
Pros: There are plenty of exhibitions all around the world, but visitors need a lot of time to visit all. Virtual exhibitions make it possible to visit one exhibition each day, no matter where they are. And it’s much more budget-friendly.
Cons: Just as with the companies, face-to-face contact makes the experience more memorable and efficient. In virtual fairs, some visitors may find it hard to video call all companies’ representatives one by one. But with a well-planned customer journey and customer friendly applications, fairs can be much more effective.
For the environment
Pros: Cars, planes, buses will carry thousands of people to a single location, during at least 3 days. In addition to the visitors, companies have to carry their equipment and transport their employees. The hall must have a good air conditioning system, which is harmful to the environment too. In fact, almost every aspect of traditional fairs may turn out as pollution of air, water, light and noise.
Cons: None. Virtual fairs make absolutely no pollution to the environment. They are clean, fast and easy organizations.
For these virtual organizations to be successful and effective, organizers must adapt to the new needs of companies and visitors.
By creating a good customer journey and finding the solution to introduce people to each other easily, virtual fairs will become the new normal in the future.
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