Virtual trade shows can help you figure out messaging and content that works before investing in a real exhibit.
One very time-consuming piece of the puzzle that we mentioned above is messaging. Figuring out exactly what you want to tell your prospective buyers can be tricky to narrow down. There are plenty of ways you can go about sharing a single message, so finding out what method resonates best with your audience can be done through virtual exhibiting.
Check with the show organizer first to ensure they will be providing you proper analytics to track attendee engagement at your virtual show. If so, you could do A/B testing with different types of content. Here are a few examples:
1. You could offer two different webinars with different topics and messaging types.
2. Let your audience choose between the two, or track which one they gravitate toward first to gain some useful insight on which topic is more appealing to them.
3. You can compare which presentation attendees viewed the longest and if more people viewed an entire presentation more often than the other.
4. You can gauge how often certain questions were asked so you can prepare your trade show team to answer those types of questions when you execute your first in-person trade show.
5. You could even test responsiveness to different keynote speakers. (Don’t forget to include a bio and a list of prominent industry affiliations.)
6. Perhaps your target audience prefers to hear from the CEO of the company rather than an outside spokesperson, or maybe vice versa.
in a Virtual
Magnetize their Minds
without it, your audience is happy to tune you out.
Communication is the
Cornerstone of Virtual
is the Proven Path to your Virtual Success
A survey of 2,000+ professionals found that millennials, more than Baby
Boomers or Gen Xers, say that engaging content can hold their attention
for long periods of time without distraction.
There’s plenty of
opportunity to boost
audience participation – you
just need to know how.
47% of people are more likely to ask a
question at a virtual event and
37% are more likely to speak to a person
in a virtual booth than a real one.
Use sticky notes to write your
thoughts in each page.
source: eventbrite blog
with the basics of engagement
The need for achievement
The need for autonomy
The need for mastery
“Engaging Hearts and Minds of your Employees” by Lee J Colan
How can your product or
services entice your
audience for elevated
The need for purpose
The need for intimacy
The need for appreciation
“Engaging Hearts and Minds of your Employees” by Lee J Colan
What kind of conversation
are you planning to have
that will make them part of
Hint: Create a slack channel
for inspired conversation
Start Engaging Long
Before the Event
Track which one they gravitate towards more to gain some
useful insight on which topic is more appealing to them.
Use A/B testing for topic variations
Hint: Keep the content
same. Play with the over-
Introduction to the Session
Check-in and Icebreaker
Spread the word
Clarify the goal of the session before starting.
As facilitators, your role is to keep the session on
track and to ensure everyone participates in the
Introduce your session facilitators
Click the More tab in
the editor side panel.
Select the Emoji or
Browse and click the
Emoji or GIF you want
Check-in with your Audience
How are they feeling?
Choose an Emoji, GIF, or image
from a mood meter that best
represents how they feel at the
Ask your platform provider for these
engagement enchancement tools.
What's your morning routine?
What’s a random act of kindness you did for a stranger?
What's the most challenging thing you've done in life?
What are your hot buttons?
What are you passionate about?
Suggestions for icebreaker questions:
- Lily C.
- Steph G.
- Laurie G.
- Peter G.
- Radha B.
Get to Know your Audience
Know the answer to these
questions and ride the wave of
Arrest Their Attention
Attendees can only give their full attention for so long.
Work moments of pause into the rhythm of your event.
Encourage participation through polls, trivia, Q&A, ask for volunteers —
Make your audience feel like they are part of the event
rather than talking at them.
Ask questions that matter in
their work life.
Hint: Use social listening to
figure out the challenges in
Make Them Feel Valued
To be valued is, the want to be seen, heard and understood.
To be valued is, to belong.
To be valued is, to be appreciated.
Ditch the Mask of Anonymity1
Encourage your Attendees to
Put in place profile creation on your
event platform as the norm.
Encouraging attendees to fill in their profile
information so they can be seen and known by other
attendees is crucial. It’s easy for virtual attendees to
hide behind the mask of their computer screen.
This is what your virtual audience feel:
“If I don’t show up much here, then I can avoid the potential
pain of not being noticed, heard, or understood.”
Reward your Attendees for
Provide incentives and awards for
Award points for completing polls, social challenges
like networking with other attendees, or meeting with
exhibitors (if applicable), submitting a
question, filling in their profile, or similar activities.
different levels of
Use gamification to
map out a clear path
Give Them the Recognition of
Recognize engaged attendees on
Plan to have your host recognize engaged attendees
by name on camera so that they feel
validated and seen.
This way, your entire online audience knows that
their participation can lead to them feeling seen.
Not everyone is
looking for an answer;
often people just want
to be seen and heard.
Entice them to Participate in
Plan Networking Activities with
Tools like Zoom, Hopin or SpotMe offer great online
networking features for both small breakout
groups or one large group.
Consider a virtual trivia mixer or virtual escape game
mixer as a networking hour for your online
1. Six Word Memoirs
2. Desert Island Intelligences
3. Speed Networking
4. Hometown Map
5. Psychology Masks
6. Achievements Under 18
7. Myers-Briggs Session
8. Jenga Questions
9. Time Heist
10. I’m a Brand Manager
Humanize Your Event
Enhance your Presence
Don't Skim on Staffing
In addition to your in-person host or emcee, hire at
least 3 moderators. It is the people that will make your
event sing, dance and pulsate
with life sustaining energy.One moderator should be dedicated to be responding to
comments in live chat.
The second moderator should serve as the on-camera
host, so that audience members connect with the face
and personality of a host and feel seen by them with
direct “eye contact” through the camera. This moderator
may be responsible for session transitions,
The third moderator should be busy encouraging the less
active participants to get involved.
Make Their Journey
It's the journey that matters.
Help them to soak it in.
Impart lessons. Impact positively.
Become a resident in their memory palace.
Spread the Word
Reward and Recap Dedicated Hashtags in Social Channels
Become a Content "Chop Shop".
Relentlessly, Re-purpose and Re-integrate.
The mind is just like a muscle
— the more you exercise it,
the stronger it gets and the
more it can expand.
— Idowu Koyenikan