Image by yum9me via FlickrTrade shows have gone virtual. Virtual trade shows eliminate the travel expenses and gruelling, long hours standing in a booth. How? Your virtual booth can be monitored from the desktop computer in your office.
Attendees of a virtual trade show click on your business icon. Your office is sent a message so you can make your staff available for online or video chats. Visit with prospects and collect customer leads without leaving your desk. Setting up your virtual booth takes about an hour as you load your logo, video presentations, white papers and brochures into the trade show's software setup.
Your staff can multitask as they interact with virtual trade show prospects throughout the day. No travel, hotel or taxi bills, no setup and takedown - just lots of new leads in the comfort of your own office. Many small businesses and virtual attendees can be reached virtually that would not have participated in a traditional trade show event.
Following is a list of virtual trade show opportunities as well as additional resources to help you determine whether a virtual trade should would boost your business. If you know of other opportunities, feel free to add them via a comment to this blog post so we can keep this list updated.
Visit the following sites for their upcoming events list or details on hosting your own virtual trade shows:
Go Exhibit Corporation
Special Graphics Imaging Association Virtual Trade Show
Advertising Specialty Institute Virtual Trade Shows
Trade-Show-Adviser.com: "How to Plan and Execute a Virtual Trade Show Event", Dennis Shiao
USA Today: "Companies Turn to Virtual Trade Shows to Save Money, Roger Yu, January 2010
Virtual Trade Fair Shows: "Virtual Trade Fair Shows vs In-person Trade Shows", January 2010
Forbes Magazine: "How to Tackle a Virtual Tradeshow", Melanie Lindner, July 2009
The LOdown: "Virtual Tradeshows: Closing the Gap on Traditional Tradeshows, Natalie Beneviat, March 2009
Bloomberg BusinessWeek: "Virtual Conferences' Home Advantage", Rachel King, May 2008
Inc Magazine: "Nice Meeting Your Avatar: Trade Shows Go Virtual", April Joyner, May 2009