The Power of the Virtual Private Event
We’ve all been there. You get the teaser to register for an upcoming virtual event on a topic or in an industry you’re interested in. The topics look good, the speakers look somewhat recognizable and the companies involved are clearly leaders in their space. You log in the day of the event and UUUGGGHHH…it’s awful! It looks more like a Zoom call gone bad with an occasional survey or trivia game designed to keep you engaged, which bores and frustrates you instead. Can it be better? Can it be different? Yes!
As the concept of virtual trade shows move past the “reactionary” phase (the one where everybody jumped in the game because all in-person events were cancelled), we’re learning what works well and what doesn’t. While there are VERY few well-produced online full-blown trade shows and conferences, we shouldn’t “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” There’s an opportunity to take what we’ve learned and turn the digital tool into a new, better platform for things other than these type events. The same components of a critical trade show can be reimagined as perhaps a sales presentation tool, remote learning platform or dynamic environment for a company meeting.
We refer to this as a Virtual Private Event or VPE. This broader definition opens up new ways to reach customers, prospects and employees. Instead of the one or two day conference, how about a digital environment that can be used every day to effectively sell and market products and services whether “on-screen” or in-person? Rethinking the format and content of the digital presentation tool lays the groundwork for creating a link between what happens on the event floor and what exists in cyberspace. Imagine a well-crafted, interactive digital presentation for use as a one-to-one presentation tool on a sales call (whether in person or remotely), and then taking the same tool to a B-to-B event for real time selling. No more video monitors on the trade show floor showing a website or looped graphic “eye candy”! Instead of a passive experience, this draws in the attendee and almost forces them to interact with both the live staff AND the digital tool.
Let’s take it one step further…What happens as in-person trade shows and events return but only a fraction of attendees actually attends? Why not turn the trade show space into a live broadcast studio-type environment so the attendee can connect real-time with exhibitor staff who perhaps didn’t attend, but is still available for a live chat? We’ve now fused the best of the digital tool with a truly dynamic, content-rich, personal interaction for a far more meaningful event attendee experience. Here content is king and delivery platform is queen! Leave the other “jokers” behind at your next live event and stand out as the exhibitor or meeting host who delivers the truly memorable, impactful experience.
Think about it…or even better…re-think about it.
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