In a topsy-turvy world, like our current economic environment, having a clear niche is more important than ever. Network Xpress’ niche is tradeshows and so is excited to announce we are launching Sussex’s first-ever virtual tradeshow!
On the 18th June, the West Sussex Tech Expo was set to roll into Chichester for its second expo of the year. COVID-19 had other ideas. Net XP had to hit the drawing board and completely rethink its marketing and sales strategies for their 2020 events as Net XP had two very clear, stark choices! Adapt to changes and work through it, or go bust! Net XP has always been a business disrupter and as such is at the forefront of B2B expos and conferences; to make these radical changes to better serve our clients was a challenge. We're delighted to say that we're virtually ready! Which means we're Zooming! :-)
Face-to-face meetings and mass gatherings are not an option, so we are turning our heads to the virtual technology on offer – fitting for our Tech Expo. Setting up initially was a different story. Whilst we loved to jump straight into a challenge, having not used any cloud-based video marketing services before, other than VR at our tradeshows and Zoom for The Director's Hub, it was a big step to transform our events business in such a short space of time. Our clients were using Zoom for video conferencing, so we started to look at this platform to see if it could be utilised into our events.
At first, we didn't think that this software would be the platform to use until we found an additional feature which enabled us as hosts to have breakout rooms (up to 50 in total) which meant we could run many different elements of the show: the Early Bird Virtual Speakers Conference, Virtual Networking Rooms, The Tiger's Pen and the Virtual Speed Networking. Suddenly the pieces came together and in under 1 week we had an actionable plan to execute a cutting-edge tradeshow and conference virtually.
We hear you – how can a virtual tradeshow be any good?
There are multiple benefits to hosting online:
• Anyone with an Internet connection can participate in a virtual tradeshow. No travel required.
• The virtual platform lends itself to a broad range of applications beyond tradeshows such as workshops and training sessions.
• A major benefit of virtual tradeshows is cost. There is no travel, hotel and meal expenses are eliminated.
Our conclusion is that as technology advances, virtual tradeshows may be able to provide the same “experience” as traditional shows. Some traditional tradeshows offer a virtual component like streaming presentations online, but in today’s climate, we must think outside the box. Virtual shows offer a cost-effective alternative and potential to reach people that cannot for whatever reason attend a traditional tradeshow, be it distance geographically, the weather or office meetings preventing entire days off etc.
We're now virtually networking on the internet 24/7, so why should tradeshows be any different?