As companies continue to cut costs, tradeshows are becoming expendable. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry found that nearly 70 percent of show organizers surveyed expected a more than 10 percent decrease in sales. Even Las Vegas' popular Consumer Electronics Show had vacant floor space this year.
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Virtual platforms, however, are fast becoming the way to host, exhibit at and attend a tradeshow. Sony held its first virtual tradeshow in January with much success--and savings. "It's a cost-effective way to build brand awareness or establish yourself as a small business without having to put your schedule on hold, hop a cross-country flight or create and ship materials," says Scott Steinberg, publisher of DigitalTrends.com and a veteran of the digital media space.
So if you're considering giving tradeshows the axe, here are five reasons you may be better off going virtual.
- You'll save money. Not only will you save significantly on flights, hotels and setup, but registration tends to be cheaper, too.
- It's better for the environment. Virtual tradeshow host Unisfair has saved its clients more than 161,833 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions.
- You won't lose as much employee productivity. Employees can be in the office and at a virtual tradeshow.
- Virtual tradeshows have everything a standard show does--and more: panel discussions, speeches, demos, real-time networking, and so on. Most hosts provide attendee metrics, too.
- There's no tedious setup or breakdown. "Assemble" a virtual booth in less than an hour and save it for the next show.