Exhibiting or Hosting an Event in a COVID-19 World? Here is What You Need to Consider

Olivia locked in an exhibition space for her brand 6 months ago. The exhibition stand design was finalised, planning was in the final stages. As the Coronavirus became a global concern, her exhibition attendance now didn’t look so simple. Would people still attend? Would her supplier in Asia be open in time to produce and send her products? Could she get her promotional merchandise on time? Would the exhibition be cancelled altogether? How would she reach her audience without the exhibition?

With global distress about the outbreak of Coronavirus, attendees and exhibitors at events and exhibitions will be starting to notice the impact. Companies in the B2B environment use events and exhibitions as one of the main sales tools to acquire new customers and build solid industry relationships.

The outbreak of the virus in Australia may lead to major disruption in the events and exhibition industry:

  • Events will and have been cancelled. 
  • Attendance will drop.
  • Suppliers will not be able to fulfil orders.
  • Companies have no new products to showcase.
  • International experts and speakers won’t be able to reach the event.

What can the event and exhibition industry do to limit the effects of COVID-19?

Technology will be vital in limiting the effects of the Coronavirus. Technology allows brands to still make meaningful connections, no matter their location. 

With the impending quarantine restrictions, many employees will be working from home. Quarantine does not have to be viewed as a negative for business interactions, in fact it can be used to a company’s advantage. The quarantined workers often have less distraction and less ‘noise’, therefore can be more receptive to connecting. It would be easy to catch them on a video meeting or call.

Leveraging 3D

Last minute cancellation of events and exhibitions can mean brands have the set-up, layout and products ready to go, but no attendees. With a large portion of a budget spent on the physical elements, marketers need to find new ways to ensure they get maximum ROI.

3D technology is fast becoming an industry norm. It allows a brand to create a virtual representation of a space for people to view on any device. Who doesn’t love to get their hands on some nifty tech these days? It’s definitely a crowd pleaser (virtually of course!).

Let people explore your show room all over the world.

Showcase your exhibition stand by a guided 3D walk through.

Encourage them to interact with your products and offerings.

Communicate with your visitors as they explore.

Map out your exhibition stand and lead your customer on a virtual journey through the stand. Place guide points along the journey to ensure they touch all the same touch points (plus more) as they would on the real-life version. Stage your own narrative and interact with the customer along the way.

Stay ahead of the competition by harnessing 3D technology.

Virtual Events

Cancellation of large-scale events and limitations on travel means marketing leaders are forced to take action now to alleviate the impact on pipeline and revenue growth.

Transforming an event or exhibition program into a virtual summit event offers a host of benefits, including gaining a wider audience than meeting in a physical location, expanding awareness and engaging audiences that might not otherwise have been able to connect. It is flexible for presenters or speakers as their physical presence is not required, so can be delivered from home, the office or on-site.

Virtual events are wide-ranging in scope and reach. When trying to mitigate the effect of the Coronavirus, consider what type of virtual event will substitute (or maybe even supersede) your previous strategies.

  • Training sessions
  • Product demonstrations
  • Education programs
  • Live polls and audience engagement
  • Prizes and competitions
  • Live Q&A and interaction with industry experts

Many virtual summit platforms providers are in the market, we will further discuss some of the best platforms in our next post TOP 5 VIRTUAL SUMMIT PLATFORMS.

Our top 5 include:

  • BrightTALK
  • ON24
  • Go To Webinar
  • Livestream
Blended Events

The show must go on…. If your event or exhibition is still forging ahead amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, it is likely there will be a decrease in attendees. Thoughtful consideration can ensure you leverage your attendance and minimise the effects of reduced visitation.

Live webcasts from an event or exhibition stand allows interested attendees to get the on-site experience and build a unique connection with a brand while not actually being present. They deliver real-time engagement and also offer the added benefit of having the ability to repurpose content.

One of the main benefits of online events is that they allow an event to last longer than a standard program, leveraging the budget and increasing ROI.

Would you like some advice on how to limit the effects of COVID-19 in your exhibition or event program?


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