The Benefits of Virtual Trade Shows for Businesses

October 20, 2023

The Benefits of Virtual Trade Shows for Businesses

In recent years, trade shows have abandoned their traditional roots of being exclusively in-person, and made their way into the virtual space. The pandemic wasn't entirely to blame, though. As the business world becomes increasingly digital, trade shows were bound to follow. 

Whether you're planning and executing your first virtual event or you're just curious about them, here are some of the benefits that running a virtual trade show can offer that you don’t get from in-person trade shows:

Wider Reach

In-person trade shows require attendees to be physically present, which can limit the number of people who can attend. In contrast, virtual trade shows can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This means that companies can reach a global audience, as attendees from different parts of the world can participate without racking up travel expenses or having to take time off work. This convenience can attract more attendees who might not have been able to attend an in-person trade show due to logistical or financial constraints.

Lower Cost

With an in-person trade show, organizers must pay for a physical venue, which can be expensive, along with other costs such as renting equipment, providing food and drinks, and hiring staff to manage the event. Since virtual trade shows don't require a physical venue, a lot of money is saved in not having to pay for the space, equipment, meals, or onsite staff. Attendees and exhibitors also save money because they don't have to worry about travel and lodging expenses.

Increased Convenience

There’s a lot that goes into organizing an in-person trade show. Organizers have to book a venue, reserve blocks of rooms at nearby hotels, figure out seating arrangements, print venue maps, coordinate with exhibitors on placing booths on the showroom floor, and so many other tasks. It’s complicated, it’s tedious, and there’s a lot to keep track of. With a virtual trade show, organizers don’t have to worry about any of that. A trade show organizer just needs to use good trade show software to build out an event website with event registration, digital chat rooms, a virtual showroom floor, and other helpful features.

With increased convenience, comes increased accessibility. The term "accessibility" can mean different things. In terms of logistics, virtual trade shows are more accessible for people from all over the world and people with mobility challenges because they don't require attendees to be at a physical place to addend. In other terms, virtual trade shows can offer closed captions or sign language interpretations for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing. The bottom line is that virtual trade shows offer greater accessibility than in-person trade shows in nearly every aspect.

Enhanced Networking Opportunities

This is more of a bonus for attendees and exhibitors, but trade show organizers benefit as well. Since virtual trade shows can be attended by anyone around the world with an internet connection, they provide a much larger and more diverse group of people to network with. Dealing with In-person trade shows has the unfortunate side-effect of a limited pool of networking opportunities due to the simple fact that space at a venue is limited, and there are only so many people you can fit into a location. That’s not the case with virtual trade shows because space is not an issue in the digital world.

One Last Thought

We've mentioned before that in-person events are making a comeback. This is due in part to people feeling the burnout of the endless webinars and Zoom meetings they faced during the pandemic. While this is certainly something to be aware of, the other benefits of virtual trade shows may outweigh this potential downside. But if you're on the fence, you can dip your toes in the water by organizing a hybrid event, which gives you the reach of a virtual trade show and the social contact of an in-person trade show.

Whether you prefer the familiarity of an in-person event, the wider reach of a virtual trade show, or the flexibility of a hybrid event, you'll need the right trade show software to make it happen. Schedule a demo with Perenso to find out how our trade show software can help support your next event.