Bell Publishing is an independent, family owned company, publishing international magazines and organizing events related to market sectors. Their niche titles include food, dairy, confectionery, and the tea and coffee sectors. CanTech International magazine, a magazine by Bell Publishing is the leading controlled circulation magazine in metal packaging, and the only magazine to cover all aspects of the can making and filing industry. It is read by top decision-makers in over 100 countries. The magazine, along with the website and weekly newsletter, ensure that all advertisers can be assured they are reaching their target audiences. The Asia CanTech conference has been hosted for almost over 20 years now. But in 2020 an otherwise traditional event had to be reconfigured due to the on-going travel restrictions associated with COVID-19. Hence, they decided to host three virtual conferences Asia CanTech in November 2020, World Confectionery Conference in June 2021 and Tea and Coffee World Cup in September 2021.Why vFairs? When it came to finalizing a virtual event platform provider, vFairs was recommended by a connection. Bell Publishing did their research, looking at two other local companies too. However, they were happiest with vFairs. This was their first virtual event, and since they were a traditional print magazine business, venturing into the virtual space was new to Bell Publishing and their subscribers. They needed a virtual event platform which was fluid and easy to use. A simple, smooth running and easy to access platform which would also provide statistical analysis and reports. Given these requirements, vFairs was the obvious choice when it came to joining the virtual revolution. Goal for Asia CanTech Virtual ConferenceThe primary goal of Asia CanTech Virtual Conference was to unite food suppliers, people involved in processing food, making machinery and packaging globally. This was a networking event. It was solely committed to creating a space for industry professionals to connect with one another. The exhibitors and attendees were both suppliers and people who brought products to customers. People who make the machinery and design the packaging etc. Key FeaturesA few key features of the virtual event platform created by Bell Publishing and vFairs led to the event’s success. They helped them create a mark in the industry. Let’s explore what these features are. Appealing Designs The graphics of the entire Asia CanTech virtual conference were based on their own logos and branding. The lobby and exhibit hall were specifically designed to imitate the actual event. The team at Bell Publishing went through the templates available with vFairs, and chose the one which was closest to the look and feel of the in-person setting. They were usually based in a hotel, with an asian outlook. Plus the event had to exude some vibrancy, which was achieved through the designs created by vFairs. Easy-to-navigate Exhibit HallFor the team at Bell Publishing, they enjoyed the internal step by step process of setting up the exhibit booths. They loved the simplicity of the process. They didn’t get any questions from their exhibitors. The entire process was very smooth for them. The booths were easy to understand and could be scrolled through vertically. They hosted descriptions of the exhibitors plus videos and documents. Moreover, they included links to social media pages and websites plus an option to chat with the exhibitor, thus simplifying networking further. This made it very easy for the incoming audience to easily maneuver through the platform. As they were not tech-savvy, the ease of navigation through the exhibit hall and the booths made it user-friendly. Immersive Speaker SessionsAsia CanTech virtual conference hosted pre-recorded speaker sessions in their virtual auditorium. The one day event featured about 10 pre-recorded webinar sessions. This made it easy for the attendees to come and listen to the session they were most interested in at their own convenience, without having to miss out on any key webinar. This again created a comfortable environment. Specifically for people who were used to traditional ways of doing things. Easy registrationsThe registration was simple for the event. Bell Publishing carried it out via their website, but kept the integration with vFairs which allowed them to easily import registrations to the vFairs platform directly. Visitors were allowed free entry. This was to encourage and maximize registrations. However, the exhibiting and speaking parties had to pay to attend. This facility was again to ensure that people used the Asia CanTech virtual conference platform to engage and network with each other. Landing PageThe landing page of the Asia CanTech virtual conference hosted information about the event which would help visitors in understanding what the event is about. From the agenda to the speaker information, exhibitor and attendee details and even a section on FAQs. This again aimed to create a comfortable atmosphere for the incoming visitors who were experiencing a virtual event for the first time. Results Asia CanTech virtual conference was a success. They are already setting up their virtual event for 2021 with vFairs. They witnessed more visitors when compared to the in-person event. This is because a virtual event eliminates the need to travel, people can join remotely. The platform itself was easy and accessible to middle aged traditional people not comfortable with digital. Hence, it managed to attract the relevant audience. The key metrics used by Bell Publishing to measure success are feedback from customers, number of participants, speakers and exhibitors. Overall, they were happy with the turnout and expect to go bigger and better with their next virtual event.