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Semex is a leading genetics company based out of Guelph, Canada. The company sells dairy and beef genetics to distributors in over 80 countries and generates about 150 million CAD in revenue every year. They have about 350 employees in Canada.
At least once a year, Semex hosts a series of conferences to connect with its distributors and sellers. These conferences serve to promote the company’s services and help Semex’s partners connect with one another as well.
In 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible for Semex to host its usual series of events. To survive these extreme circumstances, it had to take them online.
As Semex had multiple markets spread across the map, a single conference for its global audience had never been feasible. Most people couldn’t travel to the location for a two-day event. This is why traditionally, Semex hosted regional chapters for its conference to reach their distributors and sellers around the world.
However, with COVID-19 in the picture, these regional conferences had to be canceled. The only way forward was to reimagine conferences and take them online.
To accomplish this, Semex needed a virtual event platform that offered global accessibility and an immersive experience. They wanted their attendees to still feel connected in a virtual environment and have Semex’s sales message heard.
After a thorough search, Joan Lau, Director Global Marketing at Semex found vFairs to be just what they needed to survive the pandemic’s tough test.
The prospect of a virtual event platform made Semex realize that they could go global without having to transfer their conference to each of their target regions. This meant saving a lot of time, effort, and money for the company.
But could a virtual platform deliver in terms of interactivity and engagement as well?
vFairs made sure that those two weren’t compromised at all. Here are the details of how the Semex virtual conference went global.
Most of the virtual event platforms Joan had gone through were too disconnected and felt like just another Zoom meeting.
vFairs came out as the clear winner with a platform that was packed with interactive features. Joan appreciated how entering the platform felt like entering another space, complete with its own atmosphere and life-like feel. This is truly what captured attendees’ attention.
Here’s a breakdown of the features that made this possible:
While Semex used the exhibitor floor available to them, they made sure to make it their own. All of their displays emulated the appearance of their corporate office in Canada, so attendees could feel like they were at the physical venue.
“We wanted to customize the event so the attendees felt that they were connected to the company.” – Joan Lau
Instead of using a traditional lobby, Semex used the exterior of their corporate office to be the launchpad for all activities. From here, attendees could choose where to go and what to explore.
The booth area was also re-imagined as a ‘Solutions Center’ that took attendees to the solutions menu.
From here, attendees could explore various solutions and visit their booths. Here’s a look at the SemexWorks booth, complete with representatives to speak to, and videos and documents to view at the stall.
As they had hoped with a virtual conference, the attendance soared through the roof for Semex.
Typically, their in-person events had seen an attendance of about 150 attendees. In comparison to that, the Semex virtual conference saw an attendance of about 500. And with so many people attending from so many different parts of the world, there was a great exchange of ideas and even better questions. These helped Semex promote their sales message in a more engaging manner.
“The attendance was amazing!”, Joan Lau noted.
Joan felt that their message came across stronger through the Semex virtual conference than it normally did during their in-person meetings. She noticed how vFairs enabled attendees to attend the event from the comfort of their home, revisit recordings at their convenience, and network at their own convenience, all of what hadn’t been possible before.
Overall, Semex was very pleased with the event and hopes to implement hybrid events in the future to enjoy the benefits of both in-person and virtual meetings in one.
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