Virtual Trade Show: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

Imagine a world where you could connect with new markets and generate qualified leads from all over the world.

As technology becomes easier to use, businesses are adopting more innovative methods to maximize their ROI. Thanks to virtual trade shows, now they get to keep more money in their pockets!

Today virtual events are firmly established as an integral part of business, helping in qualified lead generation. To understand what makes virtual trade shows popular, let’s have a closer look at their features and tools.

What Is a Virtual Trade Show?

A virtual trade show is an online version of an event where goods and services are exhibited and sold, for a particular industry. Various companies and organizations display their products and services, discuss their offerings with interested leads, and can even make sales during the event.

This is a great space for wholesale sellers and buyers to network and create new leads. Hosting virtually is also a great way to tap into new global markets.

The benefits of these virtual events include reduced cost, maximized reach, excellent engagement, powerful lead generation and increased ROI.

Virtual booths offer document hosting so that you can provide the most valuable resources such as presentations, brochures, videos, etc., to attendees. Virtual trade shows are most often transactional and can also offer e-commerce platform capabilities. This way, you can make sure that you don’t lose any leads generated through your virtual booth and can close the deal within the same booth.

What Are The Benefits of Virtual Trade Shows?

Virtual trade shows can help exhibitors showcase and sell their products or services to a much larger audience and are happening all around the world. However, they can still be a new concept for many. If you are still on the fence about virtual trade shows, here are some of the key benefits you can consider.

Benefits to Organizers

1. Greater Global Reach

The online nature of your trade show can help you qualify leads from across the world. Keeping your event on-demand enables you to gain access to more people in different time zones.

As long as your audience has a device, they have access to a truly exceptional event experience.

2. Lower Costs, Higher ROI

With lower expenditures than a physical event, your event stands to achieve higher ROI. With a greater global reach, ticketing options, and more sponsorship opportunities, a virtual trade show is better bang for your buck.

3. Environmentally Conscious

On average, around 600,000 tons of waste are produced at trade shows every year. This increases the carbon footprint contributing to climate change. Virtual trade shows eliminate the use of paper and other harmful materials. Turn your business green by hosting a virtual trade show.

vFairs has a Green & Global campaign to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable virtual events. Virtual events can be one of the best ways for attendees and exhibitors to reduce their carbon footprints as they eliminate emissions from travel, and remove the need for onsite food waste, paper and printing waste.

4. Increased Accessibility

Virtual trade shows are a great opportunity for differently-abled people. Unlike physical fairs, these events provide several options to assist individuals with impairments and other disabilities, allowing them to benefit as much from the event, as any other visitor.

These accessibility features are quite useful and can include features like translations, transcriptions, color contrasts, subtitles, etc.

5. Enhanced Booth Sales & Sponsorship Opportunities

Organizers have the opportunity to increase revenue through virtual trade show booth sales and sponsorship opportunities. Exhibitors can seamlessly book virtual spaces, eliminating logistical challenges associated with physical events. Sponsors can take advantage of various sponsorship packages that offer extensive visibility within the virtual event space. The process allows organizers to create tiered packages that can appeal to a variety of event partners, and contribute to the event’s financial success.

6. Data-Driven Insights and Analytics

Event management platforms offer data analytics tools that give insights into participant engagement, booth visits, and content interactions. This data-driven approach enables better decision-making, allowing organizers to optimize future events based on participant behavior and preferences.

Benefits for Exhibitors

Brand Awareness and Recognition

Exhibitors gain extensive brand reach through virtual trade shows. The digital format offers creative ways to showcase products and services. Exhibitors can leave a lasting impression on attendees, fostering brand recognition that extends beyond the virtual event.

Prospect Expansion

Virtual trade shows provide exhibitors with a diverse pool of prospects. Engaging content, interactive features, and real-time communication tools attract attendees, facilitating meaningful connections. The virtual trade show setting proves to be a fertile ground for exhibitors to broaden their prospect base and cultivate long-term business relationships.

Easy Lead Generation and Follow-Up

The use of advanced lead capture tools in virtual trade shows simplifies the lead generation process for exhibitors. Features like digital contact card dropboxes, user search and filters, and chat queueing help to simplify connection and contact collection. Exhibitors can efficiently gather leads, add context through notes and tags, and follow up with potential clients post-event.

Order Booking and Revenue Growth

The digital environment of virtual trade shows enables exhibitors to book orders and conduct transactions easily. Attendees can explore products, request information, and make purchases directly within the virtual platform. This streamlined process contributes to revenue growth and maximizes return on investment.

Benefits for Sponsors

Enhanced Visibility and Exposure

Sponsors benefit significantly from the expanded visibility offered by virtual trade shows. The digital platform provides strategic placement for sponsored content, ensuring that sponsors are prominently featured and recognized by a diverse audience.

Flexible Sponsorship Options

Various tailored event sponsorship packages allow sponsors to showcase their brand through banners, advertisements, and virtual lounges, ensuring that their presence is noticed by attendees.

Engagement Metrics & Insights

Virtual trade shows provide data insights on attendee engagement with sponsored content, booth visits, and interaction levels offering sponsors a comprehensive understanding of their impact. This data-driven approach enables sponsors to refine future strategies accordingly.

11 Must-Have Features of a Virtual Trade Show

When browsing virtual trade show platforms, there are some key features you should be looking for.

1. Stunning 3D Designs to Wow Audiences

Present your audience with an unforgettable experience from the second they walk into your virtual event. Build a phenomenal 3D environment, starting with a rich, visually compelling landing page.


This illustration shows how a custom landing page may look like for your event with vFairs.

Then, move on to a highly customizable interface for your exhibitors and attendees. Have your attendees enter a lifelike virtual lobby and explore the various booths in the exhibit hall.

With vFairs, you can choose to configure your virtual event design within existing event templates that have proven successful in the past, or you can create a totally custom virtual environment based on any environment and layout you could dream up.

2. E-Commerce Platform to Convert Leads to Sales

Embed an online shop at your event. The vFairs e-commerce module allows you to create product listings faster with custom fields and categories. Attendees can add products to their shopping cart as they explore the event with an intuitive UI of your store.

This way, you can eliminate purchasing delays, maximize conversions, and make transactions in real time. You can use payment portal integrations to make the whole process easier for your audience and vendors.

“Lead capture and management maybe two of the most important features for any virtual trade show. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste so make sure to look for a virtual platform that offers e-commerce capabilities. Don’t waste a second and make on-spot sales!” said Carlos Herrera, Sales Manager at vFairs.

3. Cross-Device Functionality


This illustration shows how the vFairs mobile app can support live webinars.

With event accessibility through a mobile browser, you can have your participants tune in from anywhere on any device. This helps you to maximize attendee participation.

This could be in the event they do not have access to their laptops, are commuting, are stuck in traffic, or any such scenario. The feature at vFairs now provides timed scavenger hunts that keep attendees thoroughly engaged at your event.

You can also opt to use the vFairs mobile app if you plan to host virtually in tandem with an in-person trade show!

4. Custom Designs and Layouts for Branded Booths

This illustration shows one of the many possible booth designs in the vFairs platform.
Design your booth and make it your own by choosing the branding colors, avatars, and booth layout.

Let’s admit it – setting up booths and chasing vendors to prepare marketing material is a hassle. Virtual trade fairs are the perfect alternative. They let you and your exhibitors make their brand presence known throughout the event. Your exhibitors can also customize their booths, and upload downloadable resources for the audience.

5. Live Chat Tools for Networking

The illustration shows live audio and video chat options in the virtual trade show platform.

To fulfill the goal of a successful event, you need to ensure maximum interaction between visitors and exhibitors. Live chat tools help provide attendees with information and assistance. This makes it easier to turn leads into sales.

Furthermore, you can improve your conversion rates by addressing FAQs in group chat rooms or reserved chat slots. The vFairs chat queuing feature with automated responses and easy management helps you target multiple online prospects at once.

Look for engagement tools such as a real-time chat platform to educate and engage prospects at your event.  A 1:1 text, audio & video chat can enable you to eliminate the hassle of long queues around booths. This way, your audience can keep the conversation going in chat rooms.

6. Event Announcements to Keep Attendees Informed


Use pop-up announcements to keep your audience informed at all times. Like any other event, you will need to keep your audience posted with live updates during the event.

The notifications can be sent to specific user segments. For example, a certain notification for the sponsors can be directly sent to all the sponsors without spamming other users. A virtual event trade show allows you to grab the attention of your attendees and share only relevant information using pop-up notifications.

7. Live Webinars to Engage Audiences

So, you’ve got a global audience in one place at a single time. Next, you want to invite industry specialists and keynote speakers. They will provide your audience with significant value at one stage.

When you use a virtual platform, you don’t have to worry about the availability of your speakers or different time zones. Live webinars can be used to engage large crowds at one time. Then, on-demand recordings can help amplify that exposure. The closed captions make embedded webinars more inclusive.

Moreover, include a Q&A session at the end of a webinar or conduct live polls to get responses from the audience during the webinar. This can maximize the engagement at your event and nurture your leads.

The greenrooms/backstage allows the speakers to check everything before going live. You can incorporate this feature to enhance the speaker experience and make them feel at ease.

8. Gamification to Enrich Time Spent In-Event

Every host wants to boost engagement and improve the time attendees invest attending their event and event gamification features are a great way to achieve that. Host exciting contests and games such as scavenger hunts, trivia, and more. You can include a virtual leaderboard where attendees can track their scores. The attendee with the most points can win a gift hamper, gift card, or anything you want!

You can also use the leaderboard to direct your audience to certain areas of the event. They will gain scores for partaking in certain actions such as visiting a booth or logging in at a particular time. This can bring more eyeballs to key sponsors or important event information.

9. Detailed Reports to Measure Event Success

In this era, you will lag if you don’t have access to real-time data. Unlike physical trade shows, virtual event trade shows provide you with detailed reports at the end of your event. This allows you to measure your ROI for future strategies.

In addition, if your exhibitors want, they can closely monitor and regulate certain booths. You can offer this facility on request. Then, they will have access to real-time reports to improve the output they aim for.

10. Keep the Event Active For As Long As You Want

You can keep your event up and running even after its live features have been deactivated. Unlike a physical event, a virtual platform makes this possible. Exhibitors can receive notifications about booth visits, queries, and purchases. Meanwhile, organizers can continue to promote the event using emails and social media to continue its activity. Furthermore, they can make webinars and other content available on-demand for maximum exposure.

“One of the biggest reasons behind the success of virtual trade shows is the constant availability of information even after live days are over! You can keep the platform live for however long you want, and that’s something in-person events can’t give you.” said Muhammad Younas, CEO of vFairs.

11. Advanced Networking Features to Make Connectivity Easy

The vFairs event management platform offers features like a meeting scheduler to allow hosts and exhibitors to arrange meetings. Attendees can also book appointments by using this tool in the exhibitor booths.

The spatial networking feature allows attendees in the lounge to connect. All they need to do is move their avatar close to the people they want to connect with, and start a chat. There is also a smart matchmaking tool that automatically connects people with the same backgrounds and interests. There is a roundtable feature that works on a first-come-first-serve basis and allows a small group of people to discuss a particular topic.

How Do You Set Up a Successful Virtual Trade Show?

Virtual trade shows have all the above-mentioned benefits, but you can only get the most out of them if you know how to set one up. From choosing the right virtual event platform to finding the right target audience, sponsors, and exhibitors – it can be quite a task. Here are some easy steps to follow to make your virtual event trade show a resounding success.

1. Focus on Your Goal

A virtual trade show can have any number of features as mentioned above. However, you don’t necessarily need them all. It is important to make sure that you first understand what you are trying to achieve from the virtual event trade show.

Some event organizers only want to create a platform where they can showcase their services and products to a wider audience. Whereas others might have a more transactional approach with an aim to collect leads and convert them into sales. So, by focusing on your requirements, it can be easier to narrow down what features will be most important for your virtual trade show to have.

2. Create Meaningful Content

Content distribution is one of the most important aspects of any virtual trade show. Attendees at your event want to gather information about the services or products being displayed. So, the next natural step to focus on is to create content that will add value to the attendees’ experience.

Virtual trade shows can host a bunch of different types of content in booths, exhibit halls, auditoriums, and networking lounges. Welcome videos, platform tutorials, brochures, webinars, and other useful documents will need most of your attention. You can create content with the AI-powered vFairs webinar chapterization & summary tool to be used on multiple mediums. The main aim should be to provide more value to your attendees and let the exhibitors share their resources in the best possible ways.

3. Find Industry Experts for Guest Speaker Sessions

Industry experts as keynote speakers or panel discussions can be a great way to attract more attendees to your virtual trade show. Virtual event platforms can allow you to host interactive guest speaker sessions with live Q&As as well. You can add speaker bios and provide networking opportunities for speakers and attendees to improve their overall experience.

It can also be a great way to improve the content at your virtual event. You can ask the guest speakers to send a presentation or handouts your way that you can upload to the event platform. It is a convenient and effective way to provide more value to the attendees.

4. Market Your Event

Once you have all the speakers, event platform features, and attendee experience aligned, you need to start marketing your event. One of the first things you will need is a customized landing page for your event. You can provide event information and gather registrations for the event through the landing page.

Virtual event marketing tools like email marketing, push notifications, paid ad campaigns, etc. can make a lot of difference in increasing attendee count at the event. You can find more useful tips and best practices for virtual event marketing here.

Your Virtual Trade Show Planning Checklist

1. Do Your Research for Virtual Event Platforms

Before you begin, ask your solution provider for a quick demo and test the technology yourself. Ensure that the platform is user-friendly for everyone across the globe, and not just techies. Try out multiple platforms if you aren’t satisfied. A platform that a friend raved about might not necessarily work for you.

2. Understand Your Security Needs

The security options available for your event are vital to its success. Ask your virtual event provider about the security features that they employ. This is essential for attendee, sponsor, and host security.

3. Strategize Execution

Identify your objectives, set clear goals for the team, and align expected results. Then, you can move in the planned direction. This also helps monitor and regulate the event as it takes place.

4. Devise a Marketing Plan

Create a holistic marketing strategy that targets multiple channels. The next section will walk you through a detailed marketing manual.

5. Prepare Quality Content for Your Attendees

Virtual trade show exhibits let you host multiple types of content on your platform – a document, presentation, or video. Make the most of this and get in touch with your team and sponsors. Then, brainstorm session ideas and content. In addition, collect sales collateral, marketing videos, and any other useful PDFs to showcase at the event.

6. Create an Event Schedule

Most trade shows go on for a few days. Therefore, your attendees need to have a schedule that shows the complete agenda. Furthermore, this schedule should also state the timings for when trade is open. Make sure your approach accommodates different time zones. Share the schedule on your landing page to make sure interested attendees and exhibitors are online when they want.

7. Monitor the Event with Data Analytics

One of the key selling points for a virtual event is that you can monitor and evaluate your performance. Unlike a physical trade show, this can allow you to both quantify and justify results. The AI reporting chatbot in the vFairs platform even allows you to ask analytics questions and get all the event information in seconds.

5 Top Virtual Trade Show Ideas

A virtual trade show can be created for any kind of industry. Here is a list of popular virtual trade show examples and ideas.

Virtual Car Show

A virtual car show makes it easy to target a large and diverse audience, engage with them via live chat tools, and convert prospects into sales in real-time. You can create a custom exhibit floor that showcases some of your best models and creates a totally immersive experience that presents like an in-person event.

Trade show floor at Yallamotor's virtual auto show

Virtual Property Show

Hosting a virtual property show can help you to target a global audience. One of the virtual trade show examples is OGC which hosted a virtual property fair promoting overseas properties to North American buyers.

Not only were they able to showcase homes in desirable locations such as France and Spain, but they could also connect with real estate agents and lawyers who could better inform them about the buying process and laws in the countries they were looking to buy in.

Virtual trade show booth at OCG's property show

Virtual Technology Show

No matter the size of your business, the tangible and intangible benefits of hosting a virtual tech show play a significant role. You cannot only yield successful outputs, but also rake in networking, advertising, and direct sales benefits.

In today’s business environment, tech industrialists are switching to virtual alternatives. Then, they showcase their powerful technologies on a larger scale using the best resources. This helps them surpass high costs and allows them to create a virtual landscape to engage with a wider audience.

Virtual Food Show

Leading distributors & manufacturers like Nestle, Jake’s Finer Foods, and Centennial have conducted successful virtual food shows, boosting their profits, and adding value to the entire food industry.

Jake’s Finer Foods (JFF), in particular, strengthened its position as a progressive broad-line distributor by hosting the first-of-its-kind virtual food show. It successfully achieved higher registration volume, extraordinary branding, and insightful communications. This helped create a win-win situation for both the exhibitors and customers.

Other Virtual Trade Show Exhibits

Whether it’s a technology show or a travel show, they come packed with benefits for a global audience. Virtual events offer highly flexible options. They make it easier for organizers in any industry to showcase their products and services to a wider audience without spending an arm and a leg on a physical event.

Virtual Trade Show Booths: Key Features

Virtual trade show booths will probably be the most important element of your event. Exhibitors, sponsors, event hosts, and attendees will spend most of their time in the virtual exhibit hall during a trade show. Therefore, you should know everything there is to know about setting up virtual booths and how to make the most out of them. Here is what a virtual booth can do for you as an exhibitor.

1. Document Hosting

Virtual trade show booths can host documents, brochures, and presentations, and can also redirect attendees to external website links. You can upload unlimited resources to your virtual booth and booth visitors can also be welcomed with a short video. Attendees can view and download these resources for later.

2. Networking Options

Virtual booths often have networking capabilities such as audio, text, and video chat capabilities. Booth visitors can set up meeting slots with booth reps and talk to them through one of the networking options available. vFairs also has some novel updates to the chat feature that allow a chat queueing option for booth reps. It can help manage even the busiest booths’ traffic.

3. Design and Avatar Customizations

Virtual booths usually have advanced levels of customization options available for exhibitors. You can design the booth to make it your own, and add custom colors, logos, and other forms of company branding. You can also add inclusive avatars such as ethnic populations and physically challenged individuals as your booth reps.

4. E-Commerce Capabilities

Virtual exhibit booths can also have e-commerce features built into them to help exhibitors close deals immediately. You can showcase all your products and services and list their rates in the booth. Attendees can add products to the cart and place orders that they can follow up on later to close the deals.

How to Set Up a Virtual Trade Show Booth

Virtual trade show booths are fairly simple to set up. Most virtual event companies will set virtual exhibitors up with an online form. The main purpose of this form is to gather as much information about the booth as they can. It can include options for booth layouts, different choices for avatars, booth colors, etc. Booth exhibitors can also upload company logos, pictures, and other documents to be hosted in the virtual booth in the same form.

Once you have confirmed your participation through the event host, the next steps will be automated for you. You may receive an email notification with the virtual event exhibitor login credentials that you can use to sign in. It is quite simply filling up a form and then logging in on the day of the event. The more accurate information you provide event hosts, the easier it can be to set up.

Virtual Trade Show Booth Ideas & Tips

Virtual trade show booths might be easy to set up but you have to put in some work to make them stand out. Here are some important tips and ideas to set up a successful virtual booth that can convert leads to sales.

1. Branding

Your company’s virtual exhibit booth and its brand should be the embodiment of your physical brand. That’s why you need to focus on branding it the right way. You can use all the customization options available to you and add company logos wherever possible. Using customizable and inclusive avatars can also help you stand out.

Here is one of the virtual trade show booth examples to see how your booth can embody your brand.

Sample of a vFairs virtual trade show booth

2. Clear Audio & Video Quality

Virtual trade show booths and their performance will primarily depend upon how well your booth reps can communicate with attendees virtually. Clear audio and video quality can ensure that all communication is convenient, clear, and effective.

3. Prepare Multi-Use Marketing Collateral

Virtual exhibit booths and trade shows will need promotion on multiple fronts and through various mediums. You should prepare marketing collateral like brochures and posters that you can post on the event landing page, the company website, and even on social media. Marketing drip email campaigns can also be very helpful to engage your audiences.

Virtual Engagement Ideas at Your Booth and Event

It takes effort to make the whole event and your booth an engaging spot for the attendees to stay at for a lasting impression and foster meaningful connections. Here are creative ideas to elevate the virtual experience for your attendees:

1. Interactive Product Demos to Drive Interest

Utilize multimedia elements such as videos, slideshows, and 3D models to give live product demos. You can encourage participation through Q&A sessions and polls to make the experience dynamic and informative. This immersive experience allows participants to witness the value of your products firsthand, fostering genuine interest and inquiries.

2. Customizable Virtual Spaces and Avatars

A custom virtual space with elements that match reality can give attendees a lifelike experience transcending the virtual boundaries. Avatars for the attendees or organizers are also an interesting virtual event engagement idea to simulate the feel of a physical event and make interactions more personal.

3. Live Entertainment and Performances

You can infuse entertainment into your virtual booth with live performances, demonstrations, or industry-relevant talks. This can break the monotony of informational sessions.

4. Post-Event Resource Center

A dedicated resource center can help you extend value beyond the live event, engaging the audience even after the event is over. Participants can conveniently access and review content, reinforcing the informational aspects of the event. Your resource center can house session recordings, whitepapers, and additional materials for attendees to access at their convenience.

5. Social Media Integrations to Foster Community

By integrating social media platforms into the virtual event experience, you can foster a dynamic online community and extend the event’s reach far beyond its virtual walls.

You can encourage attendees to share their experiences, thoughts, and insights using event-specific hashtags. These posts can be displayed in a live event feed for all the attendees to witness.

The LinkedIn community builder is also an exceptional marketing tool to connect attendees and event partners and foster a community.

The Complete Marketing Manual for Organizers

Great marketing is at the heart of a great trade show. Let’s see how to nail your marketing campaigns. First, we’ll take a look at marketing collateral for attendees and then, for exhibitors.

Marketing For Attendees

You want more leads at the top of the funnel so a greater amount ends up converting into sales. For this purpose, we’ll explore the following marketing channels:

  1. A landing page that features the event on your website.
  2. Email marketing to reach out to your email list.
  3. A sticky bar to advertise the event across your website.
  4. Social media to create buzz.

Landing pages

To market your event, you’ll first need a landing page. This will provide you with an online space to do three important things:

  1. Provide prospects with details about your trade show.
  2. Feature the event registration form.
  3. Provide a gateway to log in to the event.

To improve its visibility and engagement, you should:

  • Include important event details such as event dates, duration, and time.
  • Publish an agenda and speaker information.
  • Optimize your page for search engines.
  • Mention your popular exhibitors and speakers.
  • Feature influencers on your page to make your elevator pitch more attractive.
  • Keep the copy concise and engaging to encourage perspectives to consume more of it.

To optimize your registration form for higher registration numbers:

  • Add a registration link along with a login link, ideally above the fold.
  • Ask for information that you absolutely need, such as email and first name to ensure quick and easy sign-ups.
  • Make sure that the field labels are straightforward and intuitive. It’s important to make the form as easy as possible to fill out.

Email Marketing

Next, it’s time to leverage your existing email list. Create a vibrant event invitation in your email builder to send out to your list. There, ask them to register for the event. This list will be a quick and easy way to market to already interested prospects.

But what should the emails look like? You want your recipients to be hooked in from the get-go. So, you need crisp and engaging subject lines, informative copy, and relevant visuals. In addition, you can add exhibitor logos and include pictures of your speakers.

Here are some other details to remember:

  • Write a short and exciting subject line to announce the event. Try using no more than 7 words.
  • Personalize your email with targeted language.
  • Include key information such as the show’s time and date.
  • Add a link to your landing page or directly to the registration form.
  • Create an eye-catching call to action.
  • Make sure your email is compatible with most devices (that doesn’t mean just mobile!).

Follow this simple schedule to send out your emails and subsequent reminders:

  • First email: Three weeks before the event.
  • Second email: One week before the event.
  • Third email: A day before the event.
  • Fourth email: 15 minutes before the event. Our tests at vFairs have shown that reminder emails sent 10-15 minutes before the event perform better than reminders sent an hour before the event.

Promote On Your Website

Another way to get more eyes on your event is by placing a sticky bar across your website. This will let other visitors know about your event. Plus, it will be on the top of your website on every page. So, every visitor to your website gets to see it.

But these sticky bars are subtle and offer limited space to companies. We recommend only adding two elements to it:

  1. A message to tell readers about the dates of your virtual trade show.
  2. A CTA that asks them to register for the event. The link will take the user to the main event landing page.

While there are other types of modules, a sticky bar will offer the least amount of interruption along with decent visibility for all your visitors.

Target Social Media

With social media consumption consistently on the rise, be sure to leverage this channel. Here’s a little checklist you can use:

  1. Announce your virtual trade show at least a month in advance. You’ll need to send reminders later.
  2. Build anticipation by sharing event details every few days. Do exhibitor reveals, share speaker bios, or talk about themes that’ll be discussed at the event.
  3. Post content in the relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  4. Add the link to the event landing page in your social media bios. Also, include it in every social media post that you publish on your channels.
  5. Use UTM links for all your posts. Then, measure the performance of each channel, and keep optimizing your efforts.
  6. Reply to comments, interact with your viewers, and crack a joke if you can! This will make prospects like your brand and look forward to being in your company.

Marketing for Exhibitors

You most likely have a list of contacts already in your emails and extended network. Tap into those and send all the information you can about your event.

They need to learn how going online can benefit them more than a traditional event. Here is a list of benefits that you can share with your exhibitors:

  • Enhance interaction and boost engagement with customers using live chat tools and webinars.
  • Provide attendees with the option to download content in the form of documents, presentations, and videos. Monitor your booth and regulate available content in real-time.
  • Customize booths without the hassle of vendors and printers.
  • Use an online shop to start taking orders on the spot.
  • Evaluate booth performance with detailed reports. These consist of data such as the number of participants, booth visits & sources driving the audience to the event

How To Use Virtual Trade Show Analytics

Virtual trade shows are data-driven. You can greatly benefit from the comprehensive reports they offer. However, you’ll need to know what to track. This will help you understand your audience and optimize future events. Let’s see what you can do with these event reports.

1. Optimize Event Registrations

To get more people to come to your event, optimize your registrations first. Closely track the performance of your marketing efforts. Then, track your conversions from your Google Analytics account or your virtual event dashboard. Next, identify the channels that are bringing in the most conversions and optimize accordingly.

Moreover, you’d want to see how well your landing page is performing in terms of conversions. How far down the page is the form? Do you need to change the positioning of the form? Does above-the-fold work better than below-the-fold? How many form fields get you the best conversions?

Running A/B tests with these options in mind is a great way to optimize your landing page and registration forms. If you start your marketing efforts early, you’ll also have more time to optimize them for the best results.

2. Understand Your Demographic

You should know your target audience well. This way, you can tailor their event experience for them.

To do this, ask your attendees questions such as the following:

  • What are your areas of interest?
  • Which exhibitors are you most interested in speaking to?
  • What are you hoping to achieve from this trade show?

Data from these questions will help you offer a more personalized experience to each of your attendees. However, long forms are only a hurdle to registration. Save these questions for after your prospects have entered your event funnel. Here are the options we recommend:

  • After sign-up, send an optional follow-up email that asks recipients what they’d like to see.
  • After entry, ask questions from the event page so you can customize the experience.
  • Use a virtual event platform that lets attendees update their profiles from within the event. That way, it’s less work for the organizer, and attendees have control over the information others see at the event.

3. Learning Audience Preferences

Once the event goes live, it’s time to learn what aspects of your virtual event trade show are fan favorites. Track attendee journeys during the event. Then, learn about the booths they visit, the representatives they talk to, the speaker sessions that get the most attention, and so on.

Remember to only use virtual trade show software that collects this data for you. This kind of platform will help you get in-depth attendee insights that you can use to optimize future events. Furthermore, the reporting module will provide data such as:

  • Views for each booth
  • Time spent at each booth
  • Time spent on each page
  • The average time users were online
  • Registrations vs. attendance
  • Number of resource downloads
  • CTR for exhibitor websites

Each of these data points will tell you what aspect of your event was a success. In addition, it will show what kind of content performed the best at your trade show.

4. Post-Event Analytics

Another way to get more data out of your virtual trade show is to send an event follow-up survey. Such a survey will ask attendees how their experience with the event was and include questions such as the following:

  • What was your goal of attending the event?
  • What are some areas we can improve for you?
  • How would you rate the following on a scale of one to five: sessions, networking, exhibitors, duration of the event, and so on.

Email this survey to all your attendees and analyze the data you collect.

Cost Comparison – Physical vs. Virtual Trade Show

Without a doubt, pricing plays a crucial role in deciding which option to opt for. So, if you’re here, you’re probably looking for a cost-effective solution that gives you more value in return for your money. Let’s break it down so you can see for yourself.

  • Venue Rental – Based on its capacity, rental costs are a given expense. However, with virtual trade shows, you don’t have to book a physical space to accommodate attendees.
  • Setup & Equipment – Stage, booths, information desk, lobby, and the list goes on. At a physical event, building a respectable show is one of the biggest challenges for every organizer. That’s where virtual trade show exhibits make their winning run once again.
  • Hospitality – You can’t be a host without providing your guests with refreshments and other miscellaneous items. Virtual trade shows free you of all your hospitality duties.
  • Staffing – It can be quite taxing on your staff to manage a physical trade show. With virtual trade shows, the team providing you with the service takes care of all the legwork. With constant assistance, your event is managed by a team of professionals remotely.
  • Travel & Stay – For any key speaker that travels to your event, you are usually bound to incorporate travel and stay into your cost. Fortunately, you can now invite speakers from across the globe without paying for their travel to ensure their presence at your event.

While the price of a virtual event can start around $14,925, the cost of a physical event may start at $49,275. Check out a full breakdown of physical vs. virtual event costs here.


Virtual trade shows are a great way of allowing businesses of all sizes to promote their brand and showcase their offerings to a diverse group of individuals. Virtual expos provide you with an enormous opportunity to generate qualified leads and skyrocket your sales.

Moreover, resources from a virtual event can be kept available on-demand for an extended time. It offers immersive networking opportunities with novel features like Spatial Networking, roundtables, and smart matchmaking. But none of this is profitable if it comes at the cost of extensive resources and work.

Hence, virtual trade shows are redefining how businesses can maximize their profits and keep the environment healthy. And guess what? The opportunities are just beginning to blossom as your business is now growing beyond borders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are digital trade shows?

Digital trade shows include virtual trade shows, webinars, and other digital events where exhibitors and attendees participate remotely. Digital trade shows leverage technology to replicate the key elements of traditional trade shows, such as networking, product showcases, and educational sessions, in a virtual environment.

How do you create a virtual trade show?

With a user-friendly event builder and a dedicated project management team, creating a virtual trade fair could not be any easier.

What do you do in a virtual booth?

A virtual booth is where an exhibitor presents their product or service. It is a much smaller space within a larger event. The aim is to increase brand awareness and generate meaningful conversation with participants. One can include static text, logos, banners, video, and chat options.

Are virtual trade shows worth it?

Virtual trade shows can help you reach a larger audience and expand your reach to a global level. You can also open it up to an international target audience and businesses. Saving costs by going virtual shouldn’t mean that you have to compromise on the quality of the event or the networking opportunities that your event will provide. Therefore, depending on your use case and how you implement the available features, virtual trade shows can be totally worth it.

How does a virtual trade show work?

A virtual trade show operates through an online platform that replicates the traditional trade show experience in a digital environment. Exhibitors set up virtual booths in virtual expos to showcase products and services, and participants engage through features like live chats, webinars, and interactive content.

How much does a virtual trade show cost?

The cost of a virtual trade show can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the event, the virtual trade show software used, and additional features included. Costs of virtual expos may include platform fees, exhibitor package prices, and any customization or additional services requested. Pricing could start around $15,000.

What are the benefits of virtual trade shows?

Virtual trade shows offer numerous benefits, including cost savings, accessibility, and increased reach. The digital format of virtual expos allows for a broader audience, reduced travel expenses, lesser environmental impact, enhanced data analytics for exhibitors, and extended event duration.

What is a virtual trade show booth?

A virtual trade show booth is a digital space for exhibitors to showcase their products, services, and brands in an online trade show. These virtual booths often include multimedia content, such as videos, brochures, and presentations.

Virtual Trade Show: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

Brianne Snell

Brianne is a Content Manager at vFairs. She has over 8 years of experience planning and creating content for IT and SaaS organizations. When she isn't sharing her excitement for virtual and hybrid events, you can find her doing Pilates, bingeing pop culture podcasts and hanging out with her dog, Charlotte.

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