Trade in the Trade Show?

As annual trade shows and conferences get cancelled due to Covid-19, what are your options?


First off, we want to be transparent.

Should you go virtual? Well, we know a thing or two about this topic. The Brandner team pioneered a virtual trade show over 10 years ago. It was way before its time, and it incorporated interaction, lead generation, and a high ROI. The key was providing relevant content that the attendees wanted. Overall, it was a great learning experience.


That being said, BE VERY CAREFUL.

If your goal is to get engagement and make “personal connections,” you may be disappointed. Many of the current platforms provide leads ... or more accurately “registrants.” However, these aren’t people who have shown an interest in your products. They merely registered to attend the virtual trade show, and may not have a vested interest in your specific brand. So at the end of the event, there goes your ROI. 

We recently had a conversation with a client who had participated in a Virtual Event and felt like they got zero return on it. No interaction. Poor leads. Basically, they poured content onto this platform for 3 days with no reward.


How do you evaluate a virtual trade show?

Here are a few questions to ask:

  • What is the objective & how is it being met?
  • Are the attendees of the “show” customers we need to be in front of?
  • How are they getting attendees (marketing the show)?
  • How are leads qualified?
  • What is the estimated attendance?
  • What other opportunities are available to expand brand engagement and recognition (education, panel discussions, etc)?
  • Does the focus of the show (remodeling, green, etc.) fit our products?

There are some REAL opportunities to move your brand ahead in this current environment by being innovative and still getting in front of your target audiences. We are happy to brainstorm with you.