Online Exhibitions: A Guide to Plan and Host Successful Virtual Exhibitions From Scratch

We all have attended exhibitions once in our lifetime. While in-person exhibitions have become a thing of the past, virtual exhibitions are truly a thing of 2022, and we are sure the same is going to be the future as well. Virtual exhibitions opened a new door of opportunities for users across the world. If you are also planning to step into this sphere, look no further.

In this blog, we will take you through a full-fledged guide that will help you understand what virtual exhibitions are all about and how they can help you in the expansion of your brand. 

Starting with the guide, let us understand the meaning of virtual exhibitions.

What is a Virtual Exhibition?

Virtual exhibitions are simply those events that allow you to display and exhibit your products and services to a large scale of audience, over an online exhibition platform. The most significant feature of virtual exhibitions is that these events allow you to highlight your company’s objectives through an online exhibition platform by promoting the products and building communities. Similar to real or in-person exhibitions, virtual exhibitions also allow the attendees to engage and interact with the booth owners or exhibitors. It goes without saying that virtual exhibitions are far more convenient and beneficial than traditional exhibitions.

What is a Virtual Exhibition Platform?

As you might have guessed, virtual exhibition platforms are those virtual venues that allow the organizers to host immersive and life-like experiences online. Generally very high-tech in nature, online exhibition platforms enable the organizers to customize their exhibitions and present products and services in a 3D manner.

Online exhibition platforms allow brands to expand their reach to a wider audience and attendees to interact with several brand representatives from the comfort of their homes.

Now that you know the meaning of virtual exhibitions and virtual exhibition platforms, let us jump straight into the reasons for hosting virtual exhibitions.

What is the Purpose of Hosting a Virtual Exhibition?

 The various purposes that virtual exhibitions fulfill are:

Demonstrate Products and Services:

The first and most popular objective behind virtual exhibitions is to demonstrate products and services to the public on a larger scale. These events allow potential customers to see and analyze the product in action. It makes it easier for the attendees to decide if they want to purchase the product or not. Not only this, but virtual exhibitions also allow the attendees to inquire about the product and understand them in a better way, directly from the company representatives.

Generate More Leads:

The next common objective behind hosting virtual exhibitions is to boost organic leads toward your brand. Since virtual exhibitions allow you to reach out to a broader audience, they enable you to generate more leads for your brand. They allow a global audience to reach out to your brand and booths with minimum effort. Also, there is no restriction on hosting virtual exhibitions. You can host them for over a month if you want. It would allow you to expand your audience reach, and you will witness the footfall of new audiences every day. It gives the exhibitors a golden opportunity to generate more leads and convert more visitors into customers.

What are the Benefits of Virtual Exhibitions?

Virtual exhibitions have gained immense popularity in the past two years, and that too, for all the right reasons.

Here are some of the most prominent benefits of virtual exhibitions:

Strengthen Organization’s Image:

One of the most prominent benefits of virtual exhibitions is they help you enhance your brand image among the masses. Virtual exhibitions are known for connecting the audience directly to the company representatives. Not only this, virtual exhibitions allow the exhibiting companies to set up and present their product and services in a very professional manner. It is a great way to showcase the organization’s expertise to the audience.

Enhance the Overall Experience of Attendees and Boost Sales:

As we said, Virtual exhibitions allow the exhibiting companies to showcase their products and services in a very competent manner. With virtual booths, the attendees can experience a 3D display of the products as well as a 360-degree view of the booths. Not only this, virtual booths are generally very immersive and have several touch-points. In addition, one can display documents, PDFs, and other informative materials on the booths, which help the attendees understand the product in a very detailed and comprehensive manner. Also, the attendees can interact with the booth owners, as they would do in a physical exhibition, with the help of several interacting and networking tools.

All these factors play a crucial role in enhancing the overall experience of the attendees and driving more sales for the organization.

Expand Database:

Online exhibition platforms allow the organizers and exhibitors to get detailed data analytics of the attendees’ activities at the exhibition and booths. Not only this, but advanced online exhibition platforms also allow the exhibitors and organizers to get the attendees’ contact information, which they can use to maintain a decent relationship with the customers. This data helps them in the marketing of their brand and organization. Not only this, they can use this data to generate more leads as well as in the planning of future events and strategies.

Virtual Exhibitions are Not Restricted to Timings:

The next advantage of virtual exhibitions is that since they are hosted on online exhibition platforms, they are not bounded by clock and demography. Even though your virtual exhibition is live, it still allows the attendees to visit them later; in case they missed attending it. Moreover, as several virtual exhibition platforms are multi-device and browser-accessible, the attendees can attend the exhibition at their own convenience. It means that virtual exhibitions can be available 24×7, allowing exhibitors and organizers to grow the business.

What are the Different Types of Virtual Exhibitions?

Now that you have some idea about virtual exhibitions along with their advantages, we feel it’s time to move on to the next segment, the common types of virtual exhibitions.

Virtual Trade Fairs:

Virtual trade fairs are one of the most common types of virtual exhibitions. Though not many consider them a part of the virtual exhibitions, virtual trade fairs or virtual exhibition fairs also intend to showcase and promote products and services. Similar to virtual exhibitions, virtual exhibition fairs are also hosted to introduce a company’s products to a larger audience, all at once. Unlike several other types of exhibitions, virtual exhibition fairs are more commercialized and are hosted to boost sales and grow business.

There can be various categories of virtual trade fairs; It includes technology, automobile, interior decor, clothing, etc.

Virtual Medical/ Healthcare Exhibitions:

The next popular type of virtual exhibition is the virtual healthcare exhibition. As the name suggests, these exhibitions are streamlined and focused on healthcare and the medical field. Hence, they are attended by professionals and delegates belonging to this field. Though these types of exhibitions can be clubbed in with virtual medical conferences, people prefer attending exhibitions more. Also, the organizers feel virtual exhibitions carry more importance this way. Since professionals don’t get enough time to interact with each other more in physical exhibitions, they get more such opportunities in the case of virtual exhibitions. It is all due to the efficiency of customizable virtual exhibition platforms.

Virtual Education Exhibitions:

The next popular type of virtual exhibition we will be talking about is virtual education exhibitions. These kinds of exhibitions are hosted by the schools and colleges to showcase their students’ talent and work. Moreover, they are popular among students and professionals belonging to creative industries, for example, architecture and design. They use customizable virtual exhibition platforms allowing them to showcase their designs in a 3D manner. It helps them deliver immersive experiences to the attendees.

Virtual Art Exhibitions:

Next and one of the most popular and prominent types of virtual exhibitions are virtual art exhibitions. True to their name, virtual art exhibitions are hosted to showcase the art and creations of independent artists. Hosted on online art exhibition platforms, the virtual art exhibitions allow art lovers across the world to witness different artists’ work from the comfort of their homes.

How to Host Virtual Exhibitions?

Now that you know almost everything about virtual exhibitions, we feel you are ready to host your own virtual exhibition. However, before jumping into the steps to host a successful online exhibition, we believe it is vital to have a clear vision and well-defined objectives behind hosting virtual exhibitions.

So, the first thing you need to do if you are planning an online exhibition has well-defined objectives you want to achieve with the exhibition.

After that, you need to follow these steps:

1. Plan Your Online Exhibition early:

Hosting an online exhibition is not an easy task, since they are large-scale events for a large audience. Hence, we suggest you start planning your exhibition a few months before. Another factor that you should consider while planning the exhibition is its scale and type.

2. Plan Your Budget:

Now, it’s time you should plan the budget for your online exhibition. Having a clear budget will help you plan things efficiently. Also, it’d make sure you don’t end up spending too much on your exhibition.

Pro-tip: Always add at least an additional 10-20% of your budget aside as a budget buffer; it will keep your emergency funds covered. 

Source: The Balance Small Business

3. Choose a Suitable Virtual Exhibition Platform:

The virtual exhibition platform you choose for your exhibition plays a crucial role in deciding the success of your online exhibition. Hence, you would want to make sure that you pick the best virtual exhibition platform available out there. Mixhub is one such option that you can get your hands on to deliver successful and unforgettable online exhibitions.

4. Promote Your Online Exhibitions & Invite Registrations:

You would want to have maximum attendee presence at your virtual exhibition. Hence, it is vital to promote your upcoming exhibition in a very efficient manner. While you promote the exhibition, make sure you open up registrations for the same. Also, when people fill up the registration forms, keep them updated via email or text messages.

5. Categorize Your Booths and Presenters:

The next thing you need to do is design and create your virtual exhibition in such a way that it gets the attention of attendees as soon as they log in for the virtual exhibition. Also, to make things easier for the attendees, you can categorize your booths. Mixhub, one of the best virtual exhibition platforms out there, allows you to set up booths in a simple manner. This makes it easier for the attendees to access the booths easily.

Expert Tips to Improve Virtual Booths at Virtual Exhibitions:

  • Focus more on function rather than formation.
  • Try to boost audience engagement at virtual booths.
  • Provide networking opportunities for attendees visiting your virtual booths.
  • Always have a representative at your booth.
  • Have a filter option, which allows the attendees to look for the booths as per their reference.
  • Add value to your virtual booth by adding PDFs and videos; It will help your attendees understand more about your product.

Source: Forbes

Virtual exhibitions are indeed a great way to showcase products and services to a wider audience at once. Not only this, online exhibitions allow the brands to interact with their target audience directly and expand their brand reach. We hope the guide we have shared with you helps you understand and host virtual exhibitions. If you are planning to host virtual exhibitions, get aboard us now. We would love to be a part of your journey.

A content reader and writer, following her dream of changing the world with the mightier pen. Also a believer of 'jack of all master of none,' with a zest of learning everything possible.

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