If you’re reading this, by now you are likely to have a basic understanding of virtual trade show software and how it works. The gist of these services is that they take most of the same format of in-person events to the digital world. Virtual trade shows are beneficial for many reasons, but hopefully, you’re already aware of those. So, if you’re in the planning phase, here’s what’s next for you.

First off, you need to decide what virtual platform you are planning to go with. However, that task is easier said than done. An easy way to start is by directly contacting the company and asking them certain questions. This will allow you to determine what type of services they offer and if they are the right fit for you.

Asking questions is always important when reaching out for a new service. However, you need to know what you are going to ask the representative of the company. This is important so that you can avoid technical issues further down the line.

A basic example is being aware of the cost, maintenance features, and extra bells and whistles. There is a lot of stuff you should be aware of, but the following few questions are quite crucial for when looking for a virtual trade show software. 

What Industry Does The Platform Work Best For?

Let’s start with the not so obvious, but important ones.

A lot of virtual conferences and virtual trade show platforms were developed with specific markets and industries in mind. Maybe a certain platform is better at virtual meetings or conferences. On the flip side, a different platform could be much better at virtual trade shows than just virtual conferences.

But why is this question important? Well, it’s important to know if the platform can provide a tailor-made experience for your event. You can also ask what type of events are not a good fit for the platform, as it will help you understand the platform’s limitations.

Do You Offer Free Demos Or Examples Of Previous Events?

Even if the company is relatively new, they likely have some examples of past events to show you. Viewing a case study of a successful event is always reassuring. It also shows that the company is willing to corporate with you before you even pay for the service they provide.

What  Communication Features Does Your Virtual Trade Show Software Offer?

Lead-building and networking is a major benefit of trade show events. A lot of platforms will try to replicate this experience, but some are better at it than others. Of course, a virtual event allows you to reach a global audience with diverse backgrounds. It’s important to try to bring them together in an interactive fashion.

vFairs has a lot of these features that you can incorporate in your virtual trade shows. Attendees can participate in Q&A’s with hosts, experts and exhibitors, book meetings to connect through text, audio or video chat. Additionally, we offer profile search and filter options, and a virtual matchmaking to suggest other attendees a user might be interested in connecting with.

virtual profile search option

Do You Store The Event’s Content?

Content storage is an important aspect of a virtual trade show software as it allows presenters, exhibitors, and hosts to upload PDFs, audio or video files, photos, and even 3D views of products so that attendees can download them.

Sharing downloadable content at events allows you to reap long-term benefits from the event, since your attendees will revisit the downloaded content after the event is over. The content is a major part of your branding and sharing it for your attendees to review later makes it all the more effective.

Furthermore, if a presenter is doing a keynote presentation that’s not live, they can record, then upload it to a virtual event platform.

video vault from a virtual trade show resource section

What Are Your Technical Capabilities?

Since technology is the foundation of your “virtual” event, you’d want to ask some technical questions about their virtual trade show software, as well. The first question is if their service works flawlessly regardless of the device/browser the viewer is using. Some platforms are not mobile-friendly, or may require an app download, so you want to make sure you ask this question straight away. Additionally, you want to make sure that any platform you use can seamlessly integrate with marketing, CRM, or other tools you already use. 

Another question could be: How many users can the site handle at one time, or what sort of bandwidth is necessary for the event to work flawlessly? This is important especially if the platform is offering a 3D space to hold the event in. You want to be aware of how many people are going to be viewing, and how interactive you want to be with the audience. Be transparent with the event managers and they will help you out. 

info desk at a virtual event with links to assistance options

What Kind of Sponsorship Opportunities Can We Offer?

You can’t bear the costs of a large virtual trade show all on your own. Monetizing virtual events is quite important, so you want the ability to get some sponsors. You can’t rely on any physical spaces, so the event managers will need to get a little bit creative here. If the representative showing you the virtual trade show software has worked in many events before, they’ll have some creative ideas.

For example, vFairs helps you add sponsored breakout sessions that take a break from the usual coverage. Sponsoring breakout sessions is an old practice, and it works the same way here. You can also allow sponsors to hold a webinar or presentation to talk directly to the audience.

Other than that you can feature sponsors on the landing page, give out virtual sponsored swag bags, and more. The more opportunities the sponsors get to promote their products, the likelihood of them partnering with you increases.

virtual lobby at vets now conference

Conclusion

Those are just a few questions that you’ll want to ask when getting yourself a virtual trade show service. A lot of platforms such as vFairs pair you with an event manager, so you can talk to anything you want with them directly. So, you’ll have someone expert in the technology guiding you not only in the planning phase or during the event but also after the event.

Want to learn more?

Check out our Ultimate Guide to a Virtual Trade Show

Read it here

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