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While hybrid events had started emerging well before the COVID pandemic, they have truly become a global phenomenon since it happened. This is because travel restrictions and social distancing SOPs warrant a drastic cutdown in physical events. Furthermore, everyone wants to keep themselves and their employees safe. This is just as true for trade shows, where both hosts and companies want to keep things going without endangering anyone. Hybrid events are the natural solution to this issue, and companies need to plan their hybrid trade show displays accordingly.
How do these displays exactly work? Basically, you’ll have a physical space to showcase your work, and also have a corresponding virtual space for your online audience. This means that you can access a large number of people. However, the same strategy will not work for both mediums. You need to make sure you create something that connects both physical and virtual aspects for truly hybrid displays.
The first thing you should do is set up your booths at the trade show. Think about the focus of the event, and create your booths accordingly. For physical booths, make sure you have the right customer representatives present on-site. They should prepare themselves for all sorts of questions and give each of their visitors just the right amount of time and attention.
Complement this physical booth with a virtual one as well. Pay just as much attention to it, as it will give you the potential to reach out to a lot more people. Staff it with more people than the physical booth, as you may find more virtual attendees than physical ones coming to the hybrid event.
If you want to make your mark in trade shows, you must incorporate your branding throughout every aspect of the event. Whether it’s your booths, your event advertising, or your invites, you must ensure your branding is clearly visible.
Your hybrid trade show displays must reflect your brand identity. So, whether you’re designing them yourself or having a professional design them, focus on your branding and the message you’re trying to convey. If you currently have a prominent campaign up and running, do not miss this opportunity to market it to a niche audience.
You can really use hybrid trade shows as an opportunity to experiment with your displays. Make them interactive, so that visitors feel like they are already working with you. You can add small games with prizes in your physical displays.
Meanwhile, your virtual displays can include anything from a 3D walkthrough to interactive activities. Make sure you offer connectivity between the two mediums so that every visitor feels like they are getting the full experience. For example, you can add a QR code to your physical standees. Then, visitors can access all the fun content you’re offering in your virtual display. Furthermore, make your virtual displays as dynamic as possible so that visitors feel part of the action. Also remember to keep your live chat active to engage with visitors in a more personalized manner.
You should definitely create marketing collateral which your visitors can take home from the trade show. When it comes to the physical display, place brochures, catalogues, and contact cards around your booth.
As for the virtual aspect, you can create a virtual briefcase. This feature allows you to place a bunch of files and documents into a database for your virtual visitors to download. This is also an eco-friendly way to share marketing collateral. Therefore, you may want to consider offering it to physical visitors as well.
No amount of bells and whistles will turn your hybrid displays into lead generating marketing efforts. They have to offer value to your customers. Therefore, you need to draft a complete plan, with goals in mind.
This plan should include the reason why you are participating in the trade show, and how it can reap benefits for your business. Then, create the designs and share information according to these goals.
In conclusion, you can make your hybrid trade show displays excel by just following a few simple rules of the thumb. These will help you attract foot traffic on both the physical and virtual fronts. Read more about our virtual trade show solution for your next events!
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Shanzay Asim Haider
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