10 Best Virtual Trade Show Platforms (2022)

There is no doubt that virtual events are here to stay and more and more in-person events are shifting online. However, virtual trade show platforms have made it more than easy. There are many providers available and choosing the right platform can be an ordeal.

Event organizers have to consider all the available options and choose the solution that best suits them. Pricing and available features are also important considerations if you want to pick the right platform. If you have decided to host a virtual trade show and are looking for suitable virtual event platforms, here are some of the best options.

1: vFairs – 2022’s Best Virtual Trade Show Platform

vFairs is one of the best virtual event platforms and offers multiple types of solutions and event types. Whether you are looking for a platform for a trade show, a job fair, networking events, and conferences, it has what you need. The platform can be used to create immersive event lobbies with great networking features like chat rooms, roundtables, and smart matchmaking. The platform is one of the very few that offers great solutions for both hybrid and virtual events.

Speaking specifically about virtual trade shows, vFairs offers fantastic layouts for exhibit halls that make up for an immersive experience. vFairs virtual trade shows are the best way for businesses to meet their potential customers. Some of their best features for virtual trade shows include:

Interactive Exhibit Booths

This illustration shows how a virtual trade show booth can look like

 

The exhibit hall might be the most important area of any virtual trade show as this is where most customer interactions can happen. vFairs offers a bunch of different styles for exhibit halls and booths that exhibitors can choose to showcase their services and/or products. The platform allows customers to look through product catalogs and place their orders from within the booth. They can engage with potential customers, link to their website pages, and collect business cards from potential customers.

Attendee Engagement Tools

This illustration shows a list of items for the qr scavenger hunt

vFairs offers attendee engagement tools that make sure businesses get the most out of their exhibit booths. Exhibitors can connect with customers through voice, video, and text chat options. Gamification tools like scavenger hunts, trivia quizzes, and leaderboards can also boost attendee engagement. 

Personalization

This is an example of a 3D lobby visual in the vFairs platform

The platform offers a great level of personalization for each event. From the main lobby, to each exhibit hall booth layout, event organizers get to choose what they want. You can add different features to your event halls, welcome videos, custom-designed 3D event lobbies, and gamification tools.

Live and Semi-Live Events

This illustration shows how a virtual trade show webinar can look like in the vFairs mobile app

Event organizers can host various live and semi-live keynote speaker events and Q&A sessions. They can increase event attendance, engagement, and keep everyone informed of the latest event happenings.

Live Reporting Tools

This illustration shows the live attendee stats window in the vFairs backend

vFairs offers event data that gets updated in real-time. For example, event organizers can see how many attendees and exhibitors are online, total number of logins and registrations, attendee activity, etc. 

Attendee Search Filter

This illustration shows the attendee search feature in the mobile app
This illustration shows the attendee search feature in the mobile app

vFairs lets exhibitors and event hosts search for relevant attendees with the attendee search tool. Attendees can look through relevant keywords such as company name, attendee name, email, or designation, and exhibitors can also quickly find a list of attendees to network with.    

Mobile Event App

The highly engaging vFairs  mobile event app is available for Android and iOS devices. The mobile app gives users access to the same event features – but it happens on the go. Event attendees can join webinars, visit vendor booths, and interact with media through the app.

User Journey

This illustration shows the user journey timeline feature.

The backend of the vFairs platform offers great features and event organizers can log in as an admin to explore them. The User Journey helps organizers track user behavior throughout the virtual trade show. For example, admins can search for an attendee profile and check out their number of log-ins, the booths they visited, and follow their tracks. 

2: Brella

Brella is an option for businesses who want to develop a personal connection with their potential customers. Virtual trade shows are all about networking with potential customers and sealing the deal. Brella has some networking tools and virtual event features that can help bring businesses and customers together. However, the networking features aren’t the most immersive when compared to other event platforms like vFairs.

1:1 Meetings

The virtual event platform offers solutions for AI-powered matchmaking and the ability to create 1:1 meetings between attendees and exhibitors. Vendors can filter attendees by their buying intent and network with the ones who are interested in their products. The 1:1 meetings can bring potential buyers and business reps a step closer to closing the deal. The platform, however, doesn’t offer much for the natural next stages of customer acquisition. 

Online Marketplace

Brella offers an online marketplace to event organizers to drive in more revenue, boost ROI, and engage event attendees. The microsites are optimized for conversion but lack the personality of a 3D virtual environment.

Schedule Meetings

The virtual trade show platform allows attendees and vendors to schedule meetings through a meeting board. Exhibitors can schedule one-one-ones with qualified leads without any back and forth with the meeting scheduler. It automatically highlights and finds mutually available times for easy scheduling. While it can make event attendees’ and organizers’ lives easier, it isn’t a unique feature.

Space for Sponsors

Sponsors are important stakeholders for any event, virtual or otherwise. Brella allows event organizers to book space for virtual trade show sponsors within the event. They can also host sponsor events to drive attendee engagement and traffic to their booths.

3: Webex

Webex is a virtual event platform that offers end-to-end functionality and support for event organizers. The virtual event platform offers support throughout the event for hosts, event attendees, event marketers, and exhibitors. Webex supports live and on-demand streaming, and offers some third-party integrations as well. However, Webex users report issues with in-event polls and a difficult-to-use interface.

Event Communities

Event organizers have the ability to bring like-minded attendees together through event communities. The communities can have exclusive content that drives discourse, boost topic-based discussions, and keep the audience engaged. However, there are limited ways to join communities and recording the meetings for later use is also tricky.

Mobile App

The fully customizable mobile app allows attendees to login to the event on their mobile devices. The mobile app is intuitive and allows access to all resources on-the-go. Mobile attendance can boost engagement but the mobile app leaves much to the imagination. Users say that the experience isn’t as  immersive as the web platform and all functions aren’t available on iOS devices.

Event Customization

Webex allows event organizers to customize their event colors, branding, and layout. The platform offers a few templates and option screens but the aesthetics have some room for improvement. 

4: Hexafair

Hexafair is another virtual event platform that offers networking and integration tools for hosting virtual trade shows. The platform doesn’t offer a lot if exhibitors want to arrange live demos with the attendees. However, chat options and the attendee directory feature can help with networking. 

Pre-Recorded Demos and Sessions

The platform doesn’t offer support for live demos within booths but exhibitors can record their sessions for the attendees. When an attendee visits a booth they can watch the pre-recorded video and then leave any questions they may have about it. Attendees can also leave their business cards for further discussion.

Teleport Navigation 

The Teleport navigation tool can get attendees to  a particular booth without having to scroll through all. While this can improve attendee experience, it reduces their chances of finding something useful that they weren’t looking for in the first place.  

5: SpotMe

SpotMe offers solutions for small scale events like a webinar or  elaborate events like virtual trade shows. The virtual event platform offers customization of your event through presets and templates. You can add logos and brand colors but a custom design is where it could get complicated for some users. . 

Engagement Tools

The platform offers some basic exhibitor and attendee engagement tools like Q&A sessions, polls, and other networking tools. The attendees can visit different booths, tune in to live webinars, and network with the brands that they’re most interested in. Addition of more advanced immersive engagement tools can add value to the platform.

Event Builder

The event builder tool can help event organizers build the complete event from the backend of the platform. It offers complete customization of colors, branding space for host and sponsors, and templates for designs and layouts. However, lack of a dedicated project manager can make the backend difficult to navigate.

Mobile-Friendly

SpotMe offers mobile-friendly events and the attendees can also tune in through their mobile devices with an app. This can increase engagement, more logins, and boost reach to a greater number of people. Building a fully customizable and white labeled event app can be a costly solution, though. 

6: Accelevents

Accelevents offers a range of networking tools and third-party integrations that can help event organizers arrange a virtual trade show. The attendees can interact with exhibitors through text and video chat options, leave their business cards at booths, and download available content. Exhibitors can post demos, link out to their websites, and customize their booths as they want. However, users on G2 have complained about poor customer service on live days.

“Sometimes getting responses from customer service took awhile. When you are in a session and need help asap, it wasn’t forthcoming.” – Administrator in Non-Profit Organization Management

Live Streaming

This virtual event platform has live streaming capabilities. Exhibitors and event hosts can live stream welcome videos, demos, make important announcements, host live talks, and conduct webinars. The platform, however, can be glitchy at times and users have had issues with studio and speaker features.

In-Event Integrations

The platform offers third-party integrations like CRM, social media channels, email marketing tools, live streaming tools, etc to enhance capabilities. 

Live Polls

Accelevents also offers a live poll within the virtual event platform to gauge attendee engagement and boost participation. The in-event polls can also help keynote speakers, event organizers, and exhibitors. However, some users have reported having trouble with post-event poll and survey data management because of duplicate entries. 

7: Whova

Whova markets its virtual expos and trade shows as its top solution and might not be the best choice for all your events. . Event organizers can control the layout and design of the event with customizable booths, event colors, and branding. It offers some basic  event marketing tools and an online registration feature. However, they don’t offer chat moderation tools or dedicated tech support. 

Engagement Tools

Whova offers audience engagement tools so that the attendees are present and participating. Your event can have live Q&A sessions with speakers, in-event polls, social media walls, and other gamification elements. However, the Leaderboard can sometimes create unnecessary notifications. According to a user on G2:

“The new gamification section is a neat idea, but in practice, we find that it is more of a distraction for attendees to not participate in the actual conference. They instead are in essence spamming other attendees to gain points.” – Micheal H., Program Manager

Community Board

The virtual event platform also offers a community board that boosts discussions.The attendees can use this board to chat with each other and discuss mutual interest topics for effective networking. The community board can generate a lot of push notifications for new posts and user activity which can get annoying.

Event Analytics

Event analytics tools can offer insights for event organizers. Following what the analytics show, organizers can make future virtual trade shows even better. The analytics can be complicated and the platform doesn’t offer a dedicated project manager like vFairs to help you out. 

8: 6Connex

6Connex is an event platform for hybrid, virtual, and in-person events.6Connex is a quick solution for hosting virtual trade shows that doesn’t involve a lot of technicalities. It is a simple virtual event platform that covers the basics and may not have all that you’re looking for. .

Gamification

The platform has a leaderboard feature that allows event hosts to boost attendee engagement. Each activity like a login, attending a webinar, or visiting a booth warrants points. Platforms like vFairs offer more diverse gamification tools that can create a more immersive experience for attendees.

Branded Exhibit Booths

The virtual event platform has a virtual environment where the attendees can visit different booths. The exhibit booths are customizable and exhibitors can brand them however they want. Improvements in the interface can make the attendees feel like they’re roaming around an actual exhibit hall. 

Networking

The event platform also offers some networking tools for attendees and exhibitors. The main purpose of a virtual trade show is to enable attendee and exhibitor interactions. However, the platform does not offer video interactions or video discussion rooms. Exhibitors can only text potential clients.

9: Hopin

Hopin can help you set up a virtual trade show that involves  vendors, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees alike. The virtual event platform supports various third-party integrations, RTMP streams, and you can also set up pre-recorded videos and demos. However, their packages can be on the pricier side. 

Email Marketing Tools

The virtual event platform can help event organizers market their virtual trade show as well. The built-in email marketing tool allows you to customize and send out emails. You can automate and schedule the emails for whenever you want. The tool has to be set up from the backend which can be difficult to figure out on your own. 

Virtual Experience

A Hopin virtual trade show can have a virtual experience that includes webcasting, customizable event lobbies, chat rooms, and exhibit halls. However, the visual templates can look dated and don’t offer immersive networking opportunities.

Attendee Engagement

It offers 1:1 meeting opportunities between attendees and vendors for networking. Attendees feel more engaged due to interactive content, social media walls, and polls. Although the reporting tools for attendee engagement can be improved. 

10: ON24

ON24 is built with marketers in mind and offers event marketing tools as well. However, they focus more on providing conference and webinar solutions more than trade shows. Here are some of the event features, engagement tools, and integrations that it offers. 

Engagement Features

The virtual event platform allows customization for your virtual trade show and you can design as you like. Once event organizers get their way around the complicated user interface, they can add  tools like live polls, live Q&A sessions, gamification features, and surveys. 

Generating Leads

The virtual event platform offers tools within your virtual trade show that can also get you leads. The booths can have customizable buttons that allow attendees to request demos, start a chat, or book meetings.

Virtual Lobby

The virtual event platform allows event organizers to design and build a customizable virtual lobby. So, you can design an event lobby that sets your event apart from others and allows for a more immersive experience. However, as the platform doesn’t offer a fully responsible and dedicated project manager, it can be hard to navigate through technical difficulties. 

Summing Up

The above list of virtual trade show platforms can help narrow down your search for the best platform for your next event. Make sure that you read reviews, note down your own requirements, and go over the available features on all of these platforms. An informed decision is usually the right decision so make sure you do your research.

10 Best Virtual Trade Show Platforms (2022)

Syeda Hamna Hassan

Hamna is a Content Writer at vFairs. Even though she has a degree in Environmental Sciences, writing is what comes naturally to her. She has over 5 years of experience writing content for SaaS, IT, and telecommunications industries. She is a football fan and re-watches FC Barcelona’s game highlights in her spare time.

About

10 Best Virtual Trade Show Platforms (2022)

Syeda Hamna Hassan

Hamna is a Content Writer at vFairs. Even though she has a degree in Environmental Sciences, writing is what comes naturally to her. She has over 5 years of experience writing content for SaaS, IT, and telecommunications industries. She is a football fan and re-watches FC Barcelona’s game highlights in her spare time.
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