Building your brand through Virtual Trade Shows

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From the presentation made at American Business Media’s Trade Show Summit 2006 on February 22, 2006, New York City

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Building your brand through Virtual Trade Shows

  1. 1. building your brand through online events presentation by Ramesh Sambasivan, iTradeFair.com, Inc. [email_address] at American Business Media’s Trade Show Summit 2006 February 22, 2006, New York City
  2. 2. what is an online event <ul><li>It is an environment on or via the Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>that comes alive for a limited duration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>connects users instantly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in one-on-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many interactions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>disbands itself before interest wanes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>leaving them wanting more </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>leaving them with enough value to want more </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. it’s not just about technology <ul><li>It is about knowing your users </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>reality-check: does it make sense? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>timing: are they ready for it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>blind-spot: are you looking to improve visibility? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>expansion: are you casting the net wider? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>structure: who will attend / who will exhibit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>bundling: how does it go with other offerings? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pricing: giving them value for money </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. paving the way for success <ul><li>Setting the stage for success and buy-in of online event offerings is critical </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>baby steps: isolate inefficiencies of in-person environment and aim for online event to fix them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>stretch ’em: address the infrequency of in-person events, aim for online event to stretch the length of an event brand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inseparability: bundle the on-site and on-line versions as an inseparable package; they complement and complete one another </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>long term view: allow for users to design a marketing strategy with the combined offering; avoid half-hearted attempts. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. exercise caution, embrace change <ul><li>In building a brand with an online event </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>avoid in-your-face marketing, information overload </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>make all media site-navigation geared to build your brand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>focus on quality rather than quantity of traffic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>use technology for metrics, feedback mechanisms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>combining a virtual exhibit hall with a real-world event creates compelling value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>beware of getting distracted by technology or gimmicks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>don’t forget to provide entertainment value </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. keep it simple, show-manager <ul><li>Simplifying an online event allows for greater focus on brand-building </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>use of simple visual tutorials for all users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>offering self-administered tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>creating intuitive flows between online event and other media properties </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>take into consideration the system restrictions of corporate users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>remember, time is your end-users’ most valuable resource. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. challenges <ul><li>Overcoming the challenges to marketing your online event include </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>making it feel ‘real’ even though it is virtual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>you never forget to board the plane to Vegas, do you? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>keyboard-phobia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>setting expectations at the right level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>standardization & staying the course past the learning curve </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. trends <ul><li>There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. - Victor Hugo </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>globalization of your brand occurs whether you want it or not, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>new emerging markets present new opportunities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>changing demographics: your customer’s newest recruit most likely grew up partially in virtual space </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>personalization tools: creating a common denominator for diverse users, transcending language and cultural barriers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>online matchmaking in personal life has become commonplace </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>online events facilitate pre-screening and connections, while in-person events build trust, loyalties and lasting bonds. </li></ul></ul></ul>

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