Increasing Engagement at Your Virtual Trade Show Events
Hosting a virtual trade show is something that many brands will consider, particularly as more and more consumers seek an opportunity to engage with brands online. If you’re looking for ways to increase engagement at your virtual trade show events, there are a number of opportunities which could potentially work for events in various industries. From live Q&A sessions, to interactive social media groups and polls, we’ve got a list of ways you can increase engagement at your virtual trade show events.
Incorporate Offline Interaction Opportunities
First and foremost, consumers love when brands go beyond purely hosting digital events to provide an interactive opportunity that they can appreciate offline, too. For instance, providing a downloadable eBook that attendees can use before the event or during the live-event is a great way to increase the number of attendees that sign up for an event.
Use Replays and On-Demand Content
If you’re finding that you have trouble getting viewers to engage in your virtual trade show events online, it’s likely that time constraints or flexibility is to blame. Making your events flexible, and offering on-demand content and opportunities for event attendees to engage in event replays can improve your overall engagement.
Use Polls Actively
Many event hosts think about polling audience members during the conference or trade show, but what about the use of polls leading up to the virtual trade show events that you host or incorporating polls into your post-event marketing? Polls are largely underutilized by event hosts, particularly because most hosts are only incorporating the use of polls into the active portion of their events and overlooking opportunities leading up to the event or taking place after the virtual trade show events have ended.
Not only do polls increase conversions and drive interest around certain topics, they are ideal for generating key information from your audience that you cannot get in any other convenient way. If you’re not using polls before, during, and after your event – you’re missing out!
Keep Your Agenda Immersive
If you really want your audience to be engaged, you need to keep the event immersive. Virtual trade show events that immerse the audience, both in-person and virtually, are more likely to keep audiences engaged. Keeping the event immersive, in which you appeal to a variety of audiences, and include experiences for viewers and attendees with varied demographics will provide opportunities for networking, learning, and added engagement that a flat, or less immersive experience could offer.
Create Hype on Social Media
Not only should you be using social media to create hype around your virtual trade show events, but you should also be using your trade shows to create hype around your social media profiles. People actively engage in social media as a daily part of their lives. Virtual trade show events can engage social media audiences, drawing them over to the event through various posts and interactive opportunities, while equally using the trade show platform to send audiences post-event to their social media profiles to connect.
Utilize Hashtags & Share Them
Actively utilizing and sharing hashtags that are associated with your virtual trade show events is another great way to get consumers engaging. Think of the types of hashtags you can utilize to draw interest around your event and make sure to share those well ahead of the event to build hype and interest. It’s generally best to create a series of social media posts that include your desired event hashtags ahead of the event as well as to continue to remind event attendees to tag photos, screenshots, or comments relative to the event with the desired hashtags when posting.
Use Contests to Increase Hype
People are almost always up for a contest, especially if it means they could win event merchandise or specialty gear. If you’re looking for ways to increase engagement at your virtual trade show events, a contest is ideal for many industries and can be used in various ways to encourage user-generated content and interactions such as sharing pictures, asking questions, or otherwise engaging in polls and other event opportunities.
Host Private Groups
Social media is an excellent tool for increasing engagement at your virtual trade show events, but have you considered hosting private groups that allow attendees special access behind-the-scenes? Creating a private Facebook group where attendees can participate by invite-only is an excellent way to encourage attendee engagement and improve your consumer relationship post-event.
Use Networking to Engage Audiences
Many audiences attend virtual trade show events for the networking alone. If you’re not incorporating time into your event specifically for networking, you might want to consider doing so. In fact, virtual trade show events that include audience networking opportunities before the event, during the event, and post-event is a great way to help participants to engage and have fun. Consider workshops, breakout groups, and other networking opportunities depending on your event needs.
Incorporate Pop-Up Triggers
Want to trigger interaction and increase engagement during your event? Use pop-up messaging and push-notifications incorporated into your event to instantly improve your engagement numbers. Just don’t overdo the pop-ups because going too far can be incredibly annoying! However, virtual trade show events that include the occasional popup message or notification have seen incredible increases in attendee interaction and engagement.