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    1. wholesaleinsight's Avatar
      wholesaleinsight is offline

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      #1

      Virtual Online Trade Shows

      Have you heard of an online trade show? It's a cross between a webcast and a MMORPG. And it's the next big thing in the trade show industry. Although a measly 1% of all trade shows are currently held online, leading experts forecast that by 2015, this number will increase up to 25%. That is a market you cannot afford to ignore.

      Like most online meetings, an online trade show is either meek or amazingly realistic. The simplest designs consist of a series of pages, each with a clickable virtual booth for an exhibitor, including instant messaging so exhibitors and attendees can communicate with one another in real time. The more complicated environments equal those of leading video games or online worlds such as World of Warcraft (WOW). In these trade shows, each visitor controls an avatar. You can talk to attendees by VoIP, and you can receive brochures by email or download them right to your desktop.

      But why should spend time on in front of a monitor when face-to-face meetings are more real and fulfilling? Because online trade shows offer some huge benefits.

      Budgeting
      Think of it as a regular trade show with no costs for transportation, inns, stalls, delivery, hospitality, and only a slight cost for exhibition space. This is what an online trade show is all about.

      With travel costs going up and budgets tightening, more industries are using online trade shows as a humbler way to showcase their merchandise. High tech companies are leading the forefront with the online format, but they are not the only ones. A lot of other industries, from product design to plumbing, have participated in online trade shows.

      Expandability
      All too often, the massive budget of standard trade show investment keeps your marketing team in a loop of "let's keep using what worked last year." The new virtual route will allow you to experiment with innovative ideas to match the rapidly changing market. At an online trade show, you never have to stress about the flow of people or other design constraints.

      Furthermore, you will have plenty of help designing your display. A typical setup is less than an hour, and the software is simple to use. Depending on the site, you should have an extensive range of multimedia tools for you to use. The majority offer instant messaging, so you can communicate in real time with visitors - and hold more than one conversation at the same time.

      Opening up in a new market
      Not only will you be able to try fresh approaches, you will have the opportunity to check out new markets without draining your annual budget. Now that you have the low overhead, you can visit other unorthodox trade shows that you might have brushed off before.

      Green is good
      When you compare standard and online trade shows, the latter will always be greener. Minimizing your environmental impact is a growing trend for many businesses. There are even tax incentives for slashing fuel costs as they are likely to increase, making virtual exhibits a lucrative proposition.

      Keep up with those leads
      Standard trade shows usually generate encouraging leads. Unfortunately, about 80% of those leads are left behind - a fact that depresses any enthusiastic professional. The reasons are many: a lack of communication between marketing and sales departments, unreadable handwriting, and the tedious amount of work to put contact information into databases.

      However, online trade shows usually collect the necessary information for you - and 90% include lead management software. Now all a sudden those leads become simple chores. Also, many systems include tags so you can type notes about visitors or specific companies, making it even easier to check them.

      Appeal to the next generation
      Most importantly, online trade shows help your companies stay in touch with the digital age. Over time, corporate decision makers will become accustomed to the online world as they are with their televisions.

      There are now plenty of people who learned how to use a mouse before they learned how to use a pencil, and they use their spare time browsing the web and doing other online activities (Hey! I know what you are thinking, now stop it.). An online trade show will be the norm to most as the phonebook is to older people. This trend is destined to continue upwards.

      I know the online trade show will never substitute the real thing. Human interaction is just too important for many people. However, a crafty marketing professional will use this new technology to expand their reach. It's just one more weapon in your cache, and you can use it to better your company's bottom line.
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    2. carly is offline

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      #2
      I think this is an awesome idea and I think it will catch on quickly. Companies just can't afford to send their employess 1/2 way across the country for 2 or 3 days at a time anymore. This will probably be the norm before you know it!
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      #3
      Any idea on how to find out about such virtual trade shows?

      I did a google search but only came up with a very general response--specific trade shows that turned up didn't appear to be working websites or outdated.

      Thanks!

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    5. Thank you for this post:

      artSAK (26 Mar 2012), MartinCasal (26 Mar 2012)

    6. artSAK is offline

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      #5
      Those link look very helpful--we sell tote bags with a Fineart/Christian theme to them. I appreciate your help!

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      #6
      Hi ArtSAK,

      Also have a look at the following Christian related virtual trade shows:You should also consider starting your own virtual trade show which is closely related to your product. In this way you can invite businesses to join your virtual trade show and create an online trading environment for your own and related products.

      Hope this helps

    8. artSAK is offline

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      #7
      Thank you so much. I truly appreciate those links!

    9. sumeetmbi is offline

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      #8
      Its really awesome idea mate, thanks for sharing! but do we need to make any 3D model o something for our own company?

    10. beverleypcm is offline

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      #9
      This was a good and interesting post. Thanks for sharing it here. Keep up!

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