Our world is connected digitally. With the pandemic forcing us to operate out of our rooms, this couldn’t be any more a hard reality. Over the past year or so, we have seen businesses conduct themselves digitally. This includes businesses in the IT industry.  

Even though everything has moved online, people are still looking for an authentic experience. They want to interact with people. Startups want to pitch themselves, show their products, attract investors and get leads. Managing that in a world with restricted movement is difficult. This is where virtual trade shows come in. The kind of opportunities they create for businesses is unprecedented. 

Long before the world saw COVID-19, it was predicted that virtual trade shows will be the future of small businesses. Low and behold, they are the future of not just small businesses and startups but every business of any scale. This is the perfect time to jump on and take advantage of what virtual trade shows have to offer.   

For now let’s dive into the innumerable benefits IT trade shows offer startups and investors. 

Your chance to pitch and network 

A virtual IT trade show is the perfect opportunity for you to meet your clients and customers. See what they are looking for, and how you can cater to their needs. It all comes down to them, so why not take that extra step to understand your audience and generate leads.  

While you talk to your customers, being present at a virtual IT trade show also allows you to interact with your investors. Meet with them, pitch your product and get them interested in your idea. A virtual IT trade show platform such as vFairs provides a number of opportunities for you to interact with potential investors. From live chat tools, 1:1 networking, group video chats,  Zoom breakout sessions, the options are plenty for you to make that impression with your investors. 

Clients can also reserve meeting slots with the meeting schedulers, ensuring that an opportunity to meet and engage with exhibitors is not missed. 

chat scheduler IT trade show

Increased exposure at IT trade shows means more leads 

Your virtual IT trade show is not restricted to a geographical area. You have the advantage of increased reach. This brings new vendors, new investors and — yes — new leads for your business. When starting out, getting a far reaching exposure for your product is sure to boost leads. 

Moreover, SaaS companies thrive in virtual IT trade shows. They are oriented towards companies and customers using their services remotely. Hence, using a virtual event is the best way to introduce them to your business and all that it has to offer. 

Furthermore, you know who visited your booth, and showed interest. Startups can reach out to potential investors and customers. In an onsite event, someone who is genuinely interested in your business comes to your booth, but in case you or your representatives are busy catering to other clients, you may miss out on qualified leads. 

With virtual IT trade shows, vendors and investors can see the entire exhibit hall. They don’t have to go around the entire hall. Renaissance took advantage of this exhibit hall setting where multiple vendors and booths were visible and accessible. They eliminated excessive crowding and the hassle of standing and waiting in long, endless queues, as in physical spaces. Instead, Renaissance in its virtual hall, enabled exhibitors to display their booths in an aerial view, making navigation easier and the virtual booths more accessible.

virtual exhibit hall IT trade show

Here is the power of data

When you host onsite events, can you know how many people spent time in a particular booth? Will you know how many people were in your webinar session at one time, or even how long one particular person stayed and watched the webinar? An onsite event cannot bring you such detailed event analysis.

In a virtual IT trade show, however, you will know what your investors and prospects showed interest in and even who they chatted with.  Simply put, a virtual IT trade show gives incredibly valuable information that can be used to follow up and cultivate relationships. With a heavy reliance on data-driven decision-making, virtual IT trade shows open a world of opportunities for businesses.  

attendee journey IT trade shows

Make webinars and presentations your friends at IT trade shows

With the option to host three types of webinars, live, semi-live and pre-recorded on demand webinars, virtual IT trade shows are present a huge platform for startups to pitch their product, or their service. They can show investors their product, and build their brand. With embedded Zoom webinars, audiences don’t even have to step out of the platform, they can listen to various presentations right from within the vFairs platform. Moreover, with live Q&A sessions and Slido polls, interactivity levels shoot through the roof. 

virtual auditorium IT trade show

Don’t forget to make things fun

A virtual IT trade show also encourages the participation of attendees through ‘gamification’. Creating a scavenger hunt or incentivizing actions on the platform can help attendees participate in full fervor. For instance, hosts can give points if all booths are visited, or if a certain number of webinars are attended. After this, whoever receives the highest number of points, wins a prize. This creates greater traction and allows exhibitors to widen their reach. 

When Matrix networks hosted their virtual IT trade show, they leveraged the power of leaderboards and gamification to encourage attendee interest in the event. This served as an incentive for them to cover maximum ground in the virtual space. Participants would earn points every time they visited an exhibit booth or attended an educational session. They even earned points if they found a hidden item in the booths. The participant with the most points would get a chance to win a prize. This small incentive helps participants explore more of the virtual event.  

leaderboard IT trade show

Poster halls to get the job done

Virtual IT trade shows also provide a platform for you to host e-posters within their poster halls. You can share your product overview, can link to pitch presentations, chat with prospects and investors and engage in Q&A. They are just another wonderful way to showcase new technologies and educate your investors and customers alike. They can host video presentations and even demonstrate the tech in action. The cherry on top however is their moderated Q&A tab plus easy access to chat with the exhibitor, which is just one more networking opportunity built right into your virtual IT trade show platform. 

For example, EuPFI with vFairs made their e-posters a reality. Poster halls were a huge part of their event, and they didn’t want to move forward without their staple poster presentations. vFairs made this possible by creating a specific tab for e-Posters, which was clearly visible in the menu bar. Poster agendas, PDF posters, presentations, and even Q&As were made available for the attendees under e-Posters. These posters were also available after the sessions, and could be downloaded later as well. 

poster sessions IT trade show

Thus, the benefits that a virtual IT trade show brings to your booming business are undeniable. Interactive features, opportunities that maximize leads, and the numerous platforms to engage with investors and conduct pitch presentations all indicate how virtual IT trade shows are necessary to cement the future of small businesses and startups. They can breathe life into them with the opportunities they promise. If you are a burgeoning start-up, here is your cue to host the most epic virtual IT trade show. Get started!



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