“Do we really want to fly 10 speakers from across the world for this trade show?”

Before COVID-19 wreaked havoc across the world, this question wasn’t on the table for most companies. You had to book a venue at least six months in advance. You had to fly attendees from across the world. Some things just had to be done.

Well, that’s no longer the case. Virtual events have offered a surprising alternative to expensive and tedious in-person events. And what’s even better, the benefits don’t stop there. 

Here are some of the best features of a virtual retailer trade show.

1. Easy Event Access From Anywhere

an image of attendees participating in a webinar

Let’s begin with convenience

Virtual retailer trade shows take place online and for this reason, they’re accessible to everyone around the world. Here are some problems that are mitigated when you go virtual:

  • Traveling, food, or accommodation costs for speakers or attendees
  • Limited audience capacity
  • Inaccessible auditoriums for people that struggle with mobility
  • Missed sessions because of clashes in schedule

All your attendees need is a stable internet connection to interact with representatives from their favorite couch. 

2. Landing Pages Optimized for Registrations

Virtual event platforms will offer some of the best landing pages you’ve ever designed for an event. These landing pages offer event details and a way to sign up for it and receive related communications. 

Ideally, your virtual platform should offer:

  • A personalized web page, designed to match your brand identity and event design.
  • A customizable form for high event registrations.
  • Ticketing options and payment integrations such as Stripe and Paypal.
  • Easy to access event details.

3. Email Marketing Features

Getting people to attend the event is the most stressful part of the planning process and virtual event platforms know this well. One of the best audiences to leverage when attracting attendees is your highly engaged email list. For this reason, a virtual retailer trade show will offer you well-rounded email marketing options. And the best part is that you’ll also be able to customize your emails, personalize them, and schedule them ahead of time.

Email marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to event marketing. Here are some ways you can utilize it:

  • Before the event: promotional emails, early-bird discounts, event reminders.
  • During the event: meeting reminders, session reminders.
  • After the event: event feedback emails, sign up for a newsletter.

4. Easy Navigation

an image of a retailer trade show

While virtual platforms have risen in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic made an appearance, they’re still new for a lot of people. 

On top of that, every platform is built differently so even if most of your attendees have attended a virtual event in the past, they might still struggle to get to the right place at your retailer trade show. 

For this reason, easy navigation is an important feature of a virtual retailer trade show. Look for platforms that offer an intuitive way of going from one room to another, meeting other attendees, and engaging with booth representatives.

5. A Vibrant Showcase

an image of a vibrant McDonalds CYD

Most virtual event platforms don’t put a lot of emphasis on the presentation of the event. And this is going to be your number one caveat when choosing a virtual retailer conference platform.

Trade shows are all about presentation and marketing. We’re attracted to things that catch our eyes – that’s exactly why grocery trips are so much fun. It’s the vibrant colors and the eye-catching graphics that pull us in. Only then do we really read the pitch on the packet. 

This is why booths at in-person trade shows work so hard on their banners and standees.  

Some platforms will recreate this experience for your exhibitors and attendees. They offer multiple layouts, several customization options, and branding opportunities so your exhibitors can bring their booths to life. 

6. Multiple Branding Opportunities for Sponsors

an image of branding options

If you have sponsors contributing to the retailer trade show, they’ll need to get their money’s worth. How do you do that in a virtual environment? 

The best virtual retailer trade shows will offer multiple branding opportunities for your sponsors. You’ll have the freedom to display logos and other marketing collateral. You’d also be able to host other activities that market your sponsors, such as a scavenger hunt that makes attendees visit sponsored booths. 

7. Networking Lounges

Virtual events let you meet attendees from across the world. This is logistically not possible with in-person events. Various networking options such as text, audio, and video help attendees choose the way they’d be most comfortable in communicating. Several platforms will also offer features like group networking and smart matchmaking so those with similar interests can be connected.

8. Entertainment Options

Long virtual events can often get boring. For this reason, you’ll want to offer a little break to your attendees from the exhibition. Activities like scavenger hunts or stand-up comedy hours can help attendees feel engaged. Virtual retailer trade shows now have platforms that provide tech support for such activities. They make sure that your guests are taken care of. 

9. Accessibility Options

Another great feature that virtual retailer trade shows offer is support for those with visual and hearing impairments. Accessibility features such as text-to-speech, text enlargement, and reverse contrast help more people access your trade show and make it more inclusive. They’re also really easy to attend from the comfort of your home for those that struggle with mobility. 


The cool thing about virtual retailer trade show platforms is that they’re constantly evolving and adding new features to their software. They also offer tons of integrations so you can always stack on more capabilities to the existing platform. 

This means that the possibilities with virtual events are endless. It’s just a matter of getting the right platform and the right project management team that designs the perfect event for you.


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