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  • Writer's pictureTeam ESM

Virtual or Reality? A comparison of two very different exhibition experiences

Trade shows have been an essential marketing tool for businesses for many years, providing an opportunity to connect with potential customers, showcase products, and generate leads. However, with the rise of virtual technology, virtual trade shows have become an increasingly popular alternative to in-person events. In this blog, we'll compare the benefits of virtual trade shows with in-person trade shows.


Benefits of Virtual Trade Shows:


Lower Costs

Virtual trade shows are generally much more cost-effective than in-person events. There are no travel or accommodation costs for attendees, and no expenses associated with exhibition stand design and build, shipping, and setup. This makes virtual events an attractive option for smaller businesses or those with limited marketing budgets.


Greater Accessibility

Virtual trade shows offer greater accessibility to attendees who may not be able to attend in-person events due to geographical limitations or scheduling conflicts. This means that businesses can connect with a more diverse audience and potentially generate more leads.


Flexibility

Virtual trade shows offer greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and content delivery. Attendees can access presentations, demos, and other content on-demand, making it easier for them to learn about products and services at their own pace. Additionally, businesses can host virtual events at any time of day, making it easier to reach attendees in different time zones.


Analytics and Tracking

Virtual trade shows offer valuable data analytics and tracking capabilities that can help businesses to measure the success of their event and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Analytics can provide insights into attendee engagement, booth traffic, and lead generation, which can inform future marketing efforts.


Benefits of In-Person Trade Shows:


Face-to-Face Interaction

In-person trade shows offer the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with potential customers, which can be invaluable for building relationships and establishing trust. Face-to-face interaction can help businesses to better understand their customers' needs and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.


Tangible Product Demonstrations

In-person trade shows allow attendees to see and touch products, which can be particularly important for businesses that sell physical products. This enables attendees to get a better sense of the product's quality, features, and functionality, which can increase the likelihood of a sale.


Networking Opportunities

In-person trade shows offer valuable networking opportunities, enabling businesses to connect with potential partners, suppliers, and industry experts. These connections can lead to new business opportunities and collaborations, which can be challenging to establish in a virtual environment.


Memorable Experiences

In-person trade shows offer a unique and memorable experience for attendees, which can be valuable for building brand awareness and establishing a positive reputation. A well-designed trade show booth, engaging demos, and giveaways can leave a lasting impression on attendees, potentially leading to increased brand loyalty and future sales.


Both virtual and in-person trade shows offer unique benefits for businesses. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person trade shows will depend on your business's goals, budget, and target audience, however it is important that the visitor experience is a memorable one for all the right reasons.


If you are considering an in-person event, take a look at our photo gallery for inspiration.



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