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Why Events are Going Virtual

As companies continue to costs, trade shows are becoming an expendable expense.

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This story appears in the July 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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 ' popular had vacant floor space this year.

App of the Month

App: Qik

Compatible with: 108 mobile devices

Price: Free

Ever attend a tradeshow and wish you could stream footage to your team back in the office, or sit in on a presentation that you thought your partner should see? For these reasons and more, the creators of Qik sought to be the go-to application on mobile phones for people who want to capture those moments and stream them live online with near-zero latency. Just download the application and start recording. Viewers can chat live, and the video is automatically archived on Qik.com. The application can also be embedded in profiles on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. -L.H.

Virtual platforms, however, are fast becoming the way to host, exhibit at and attend a tradeshow. held its first virtual tradeshow in January with much success--and savings. "It's a cost-effective way to build or establish yourself as a 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 space.

So if you're considering giving tradeshows the axe, here are five reasons you may be better off going virtual.

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