Open Forum

Expand all | Collapse all

Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

  • 1.  Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Cvent Staff
    Posted 11-23-2020 10:46

    Hello and happy Monday! We're back with another Huddle of the Week discussion. If you can believe it, we are on the tenth week of our Huddle of the Week series, and with that wanted to provide some insight in case you are new to the Community. Every week, the Community Team will be posting a relevant industry topic and discussion questions to spark strategic conversation and best practices in the Open Forum. The topics so far have ranged from virtual event KPIs, agenda content in a virtual setting, hotelier and venue communications on their health and safety measures, and much more. We hope each week you can look forward to a creative and thoughtful discussion where you can learn from your peers, and share your own experiences and thoughts, as well!  

    Now onto this week's discussion – we have had a ton of great dialogue surrounding virtual events, and sponsorship within that. However, we wanted to take the conversation to the next level and hear how you are executing a virtual tradeshow. For Cvent CONNECT Virtual (US and Europe), we used the Virtual Attendee Hub to offer virtual booths and appointments and had various opportunities within the event itself for our exhibitors.  


    • What are your top tips or ideas for executing a virtual tradeshow? 
    • What opportunities overlap between in-person and virtual vs. what new tasks or opportunities are you seeing in a virtual environment? 


    Please share your insights below, even if you have not yet experienced this yourself! Feel free to ask any questions to other users, too. #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt  


    Megha Jetley
    Team Lead
    Community Marketing

  • 2.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-24-2020 10:26
    For live-in-person events, of course, we always had an exhibition area with live-in-person exhibitors, gamification to visit the exhibitors in the CrowdCompass App, and Cvent Appointments integrated into the CrowdCompass app to facilitate 1:1 meetings between exhibitors and attendees.

    For a Virtual Tradeshow, # 1 concern is COMMUNICATION, i.e. the education of both Virtual Exhibitors and Virtual Attendees. I attended Exhibitor sessions in the Virtual Attendee Hub for Cvent Connect and I found the experience very satisfying. It felt personal, being able to see the exhibitor on camera and have a conversation.

    Start communication early and often about:
    1. Featured exhibitors (and a cost for this can be baked into the exhibitor fee, i.e. X amount of dollars to be featured on a direct email to virtual attendees)
    2. How to log into the Virtual Attendee Hub
    3. Where to find Exhibitors and how to interact with them
    4. Any tech specs for interacting with Exhibitors in the VAH (i.e. "make sure you have downloaded the latest version of Zoom and here's a link to that download)
    5. How attendees get Support if they are having trouble logging into the VAH

    Schedule specific games/networking activities with exhibitors. This could be combined with mailing or emailing game pieces to individual attendees. ​

    Having an opening session where exhibitor logos are featured on the 5-min countdown to the opening "session" would bring attention to the exhibitor area. 

    I confess I am still figuring out the integratio of the App with the Virtual Attendee Hub. The App has been mission critical to us in the past for 1) backed in gamification on how to use the app, 2) custom gamification to drive attendees to interact with exhibitors, 3) featuring banners on the app for Platinum and Gold sponsors/exhibitors, and creating a map of Exhibitors complete with profiles and attachments.

    I hope this helps!

    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States

  • 3.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-24-2020 11:35
    We're not on the execution end, but we ARE on the sponsor end. We would prefer a live session for our presenters vs an on-demand session (although we also prefer that there then be an on-demand recording available!), virtual booth space, door prizes (using our entry form so that we can capture leads) and more. 

    Something that I haven't seen done much or at all at the events I've attended is receiving real mail as an attendee - swag in the mail is so fun (thanks, Cvent CONNECT!), and an additional step to making a virtual event feel more like an in-person event would be to provide an actual meal or happy hour mixers - in person by way of a gift card or actual mail. Tactile "stuff" can make a BIG difference, and we are all so weary of being home-bound that we appreciate this out-of-the-ordinary way of engaging!

    Lori Wildman
    Senior Marketing Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.

  • 4.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-24-2020 13:20
    We are not at the full scale of a virtual trade show, but we will be using the Attendee Hub for our exhibitors. We are doing a mix of things to encourage attendees to visit them:
    - we have dedicated exhibitor time in the schedule. During those times, the exhibitors will be in a webex/zoom meeting waiting for attendees to jump in. 
    - exhibitors also have the option to list in their descriptions times that they will be doing a sales pitch in that same webex/zoom room.
    - attendees are further incentivized to participate through a door prize drawing based on their engagement scores within the exhibitor area. Each action is an entry. 
    - we will also have general session moderators and MCs remind attendees to visit the exhibitor tab during down time.

    Béline FALZON
    Conference Program Specialist II
    California Teachers Association

  • 5.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Posted 11-24-2020 17:06
    We have a small virtual conference coming up next week.  We have built into the schedule time for our sponsors to introduce themselves to our attendees.  Our sessions are all over Zoom so this will give them some FaceTime. We've also included virtual backgrounds with our platinum and gold sponsor logos for all of our facilitators and moderators.  We will be using push notifications, banner ads and raffles to help drive traffic to our sponsors.

    We are sending a Starbucks gift card barcode to all of our attendees to buy themselves a cup of coffee on us.  This was an easy sell to a sponsor!

    Jenn Dooley
    Executive Director

  • 6.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Posted 11-25-2020 13:51
      |   view attached
    We had our virtual conference last month and the trade show - though completely different from any live event we'd normally do - was pretty successful. Like a life event, the exhibitors got out of it, as much as they put in. If they went to a lot of effort to design their virtual space to be engaging and interesting, they got good traffic. If they didn't put any effort into their content, no one bothered to click in to see what they had. 

    Some of the components our exhibitors could add included:
    Product Videos
    Welcome Videos (the CEO welcoming people etc.)
    Resources Documents (PDF downloads) 
    A live, public chat box
    A private message with staff option
    A meet the team space (photo, bio, contact info etc.)
    Images: logos, products, other graphics

    **Attaching a screenshot of one of the better booths for reference. 

    We also had opportunities for our exhibitors to sponsor various things to get more exposure:
    - Sponsor a session included: 15 or 30 second welcome/intro video that played before the session, logo during session and in program.
    - Sponsor of our lounges
    - Gamification "Visit x booth to receive 50 points... person with x points wins a $50 Amazon gift voucher!"

    Sharna Pascolo
    Program Director
    Texas Society of Architects

  • 7.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Posted 11-26-2020 13:05
    Engagement and lead generation are key. Also the ability for the vendors to have immediate access to leads for immediate follow up. Try and help the vendors leads by priority. Hot leads should be followed up on immediately.

    Scott Sward
    Global Travel and Events Manager
    Viewpoint, Inc.

  • 8.  RE: Huddle of the Week #10: Executing a Virtual Tradeshow

    Posted 11-30-2020 09:02

    For us we noticed virtual events received more attendance since we're a national company. Hosting a virtual event has been easier for all branches to attend without worry of travel plans.

    In regards for sponsors and interaction we've utilized gamification within the crowd compass app and they hosted relevant breakout sessions. 

    Coy Rushton
    Graphic Designer
    Primary Residential Mortgage