With the COVID-19 lockdown easing gradually, companies are now looking to prepare themselves for a return to business as usual, and part of this will be the return of exhibitions and trade shows. However, it is clear that this return won’t be as normal as it was. Organisers are now planning a safer and more innovative way of helping companies to market themselves to potential new clients. The Virtual Exhibition is the answer to this, an online method of ‘visiting’ trade shows. There are lots of organisers rushing to take advantage of this idea and it has the workings to be very popular – and some are already in motion.
So, how do virtual exhibitions work exactly? In a similar sort of fashion to Google Maps, the exhibition lets you click around and zoom into areas you’re interested in, all the while using the arrow keys on your keyboard to move yourself around the virtual hall. As you come to a stand, you can click on the company logos on the stands to get a closer and in depth look at the exhibitors stand. Just like real life. Doing so will let you have deeper conversations with these exhibitors by allowing you to e-mail or call them to have a deeper chat. Whilst this may not have the same personable aspect trade shows have, it is a lot safer.
What are the advantages of a virtual exhibition? Well first things first, it’s a lot cheaper. For exhibitors, and for visitors. Visitors won’t have to worry about travel or even having to take days off of work, as they may only need to take a couple of hours to view the exhibition. And with that, it makes things a lot more easier and convenient. The fact that these exhibitions are open all the time, so you can access them whenever you feel like it, makes it a lot more accessible for everyone. With that, as said, it is a lot safer. No need for social distancing at events at all when it isn’t even required for you to attend.
The great thing about this sort of interactivity is that visual products are going to be more useful for a virtual exhibition. With employees not being by their stand, a substitute of some sort is in order to give visitors information on what they are looking at. This is where video production comes in. Exhibitors need something welcoming, interesting and informative for visitors to view, and a corporate video production is the perfect thing to do so. A stand could have a welcome video with a spokesperson guiding them through their services and products, or you could use a brand film, a more cinematic and edgier way of striking at a visitor’s interest. Video has a more engaging and intriguing appeal to it than having a visitor have to read content you’ve put at your stand. Having a video can help set you apart from the other exhibitors. If you have a stand and are thinking about using a video to represent it, it should without a doubt be heavily considered to set you apart from the competition.
The great thing about these events is the potential for them to evolve if they become even more popular. The use of something such as 360 degree video offers an even more exciting opportunity for exhibitors and visitors alike. If and when trade shows start to become the norm once more and people begin attending them, there will be many who don’t have the opportunity to attend. 360 video now creates an enticing idea for organisers to use special 360 cameras to film their exhibitions and post them online – so people who have missed out can find these videos and visit the shows virtually. 360 video also allows a lot more interaction from the audience. They can click, zoom and move around the exhibition at their own will and comfort, and whilst it may not be the real thing, it is better than going without nothing!