The success of virtual exhibitions and trade shows has a lot to do with just how engaging the overall experience is – or, more specifically, how engaging each virtual booth is.
Still, getting people to engage with these exhibitor booths is easier said than done. Unfortunately, simply existing in a virtual space is no longer a guarantee that attendees will automatically click into a booth and explore.
Attendees are a lot harder to appeal to these days due to how savvy they’ve become with technology. To engage with them, event organisers must go the extra mile, coming up with new offerings to pique their interest.
Again, this is easier said than done. Especially if you don’t know how to make your virtual booths more appealing.
Enter iVent: an expert in all things virtual events.
In this post, we’ll be showing you how to increase virtual booth engagement at events, making them pretty much unmissable.
What is a Virtual Booth?
Virtual booths – or exhibitor booths – are a way for brands and companies to showcase their products and services to the masses. It’s a place for brands to connect, network, and even grow revenue
Similar to physical booths, attendees have the opportunity to interact with attendees directly via live text and video chat. This simulates the feeling of being at an actual trade show, minus the physical limitations of in-person trade shows and exhibitions.
For exhibitors, virtual booths are great for networking and increasing brand awareness in and amongst a larger audience.
That’s the general appeal. Only, for everything to work as intended, event organisers need to take the necessary steps to ensure that engagement is nurtured, and above all else, prioritised.
The Virtual Booth Checklist
One of the easiest ways to ensure your virtual booths are engaging enough is to cover the basics. The basics being:
What you should allow exhibitors to include within these virtual booths within your virtual event platform. It goes without saying, but exhibitors should be able to customise the theme of their booth to add a level of personalisation.
The same applies to branding, such as logos and any other relevant wording that sits on the virtual booth somewhere.
Here’s a quick checklist of what your virtual booths should include, or allow exhibitors to customise as standard:
- Logos and messaging
- An about us section
- Space for images and videos
- Live text and video chat options
- A space for useful links and resources
- Social media integration
- Meeting capabilities
Another thing to include is a way for exhibitors to track and monitor data and analytics. This is an integral part of virtual events as the brands taking part will want to know how successful the event has been for them.
Our virtual event platform is equipped with various reporting tools that can track everything from unique visitors to content link clicks.
It’s also a platform capable of handling everything we’ve just outlined in the virtual booth checklist.
Get started on your events.
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6 Ways To Increase Virtual Booth Engagement
So we’ve covered what a virtual booth is and what you need to include as standard via our checklist. Now it’s time to focus on additional ways to increase engagement.
Some of the virtual booth tips we’re about to suggest will only work with specific virtual event platforms. Others will require collaboration between you and others invested in your virtual events.
Do keep in mind that increasing engagement is a team effort. Event hosts, event sponsors and any participating exhibitors must work together on this.
It’s like we said:
Simply having a virtual booth won’t guarantee engagement. So you need to make sure that every decision, both before and during the event, is made to amplify engagement.
Let’s begin by looking at the engaging benefits that come with gamifying the virtual event experience.
Gamify Your Virtual Booth
Gamifying virtual events is a borderline cheat code for engagement. More so when the games you offer are fully-customised – showcasing your event branding or the branding of exhibitors.
There’s no limit on the games you can offer. Arcade-style games like Pac-Man are great for grabbing the attention of attendees. Or, if you’d prefer something a lot more subtle, trivia questions within exhibitor booths are great at relaying facts and information in a very indirect way!
Fun and friendly competition can make the world of difference to booths too, which you can leverage through the use of a custom leaderboard!
Another option would be to run a virtual scavenger hunt where you ask attendees to complete a series of tasks.
For example, you could ask them to watch an in-booth demonstration, register interest in at least three virtual booths, and follow at least one exhibitor on social media.
The gamification possibilities are endless, as you can imagine.
Whether or not you choose to include them is up to you. Just remember, there’s something for everyone.
And who isn’t interested in games?
Ensure the Booth is Optimised for Engagement
Ensuring that your virtual booth has the fundamentals down to a tee is another way to increase engagement. And by fundamentals, we’re referring to the virtual booth checklist mentioned above.
Offering 1-2-1 meeting functionality is a requirement for anyone looking to take part in a virtual exhibition. By offering meeting capabilities, you invite attendees to interact with you on a much deeper level, thus strengthening the connection they have with your brand.
Choosing not to have 1-2-1 functionality will only stifle the number of leads you generate. It’s that simple.
One of the other ways to ensure that your booth is optimised for engagement is by implementing some form of short presentation. One that your attendees can view within your booth directly.
These presentations give you the perfect opportunity to relay important facts and information about your brand and its offering. Implementing a short presentation will make sure that nothing is lost in translation, and that your message is received loud and clear!
According to Insivia, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. This is why having a short presentation or two can come in real handy.
Promote Booths On Social Media
Social media is an engagement magnet in its own right, making it quite the tool for increasing virtual booth engagement when used effectively.
Exhibitors should be promoting themselves on social media regardless, but there are ways for event organisers to amplify engagement even more. For example, re-posting content on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram is very easy to do.
Another option would be to share images or recordings of what these virtual booths look like once the event is well underway.
Or better yet, you could highlight a different exhibitor every hour, and get them to re-post this content on their channels for maximum visibility. Cross-posting is a lot easier nowadays, so take advantage of it.
Like gamification, there are countless ways to approach social media in terms of increasing engagement.
Run Sponsored Competitions
Nothing says engaging quite like a competition with legitimate prizes on the line. Especially when what you’re offering relates to your virtual event in some way or another.
What you offer will depend A) on the type of event you’re running, and B) on who’s willing to give you something for free to serve as the prize itself. You could ask your event sponsors to offer up some sort of gift.
Another option would be asking one of your exhibitors. They might only offer something small or a free demo. But it’s still a prize.
How this links to virtual booths is completely up to you.
You could run a social media competition that asks attendees to answer questions that relate to specific booths, thus encouraging them to actually enter them and interact with exhibitors directly.
Prize roulette wheels and lottery-style giveaways would work too. Although, they are slightly tougher to link back to virtual booths. Unless you hand out a select number of entry tickets to exhibitors for them to distribute.
Offer Timed Experiences
Creating a sense of urgency is another way to increase virtual booth engagement in that it plays on that fear of missing out.
One way to do this is to have sponsors (or exhibitors) offer timed exclusives that are only available during select windows of the event. A free consultation or free download should be more than enough to motivate attendees.
This is something that countless event organisers leverage to engage their audience. What you choose to offer will depend entirely on you and the type of event you’re running.
Hand Out Event Swag
When in engagement doubt, bring out the event swag. When it comes to goodie bags, event hosts have one of two options:
- Send swag before the event to build anticipation
- Distribute goodie bags after the event to say thanks
They also need to check with their virtual event budget to see if they can afford to pay for physical swag and ship it to attendees. If you can’t, know that virtual goodie bags are still an option.
How this increases virtual booth engagement comes down to brand awareness. Exposing them to the brands or sponsors in attendance ahead of time will increase the likelihood that they interact with them once the event commences.
Custom mugs, print materials, branded stationery and lanyards. It all goes a long way in establishing trust and encouraging engagement at virtual trade shows and exhibitions. The same goes for virtual goodies.
Unmissable: How to Increase Virtual Booth Engagement at Events
We find that event challenges tend to bring out the best in everyone. It pushes event hosts, sponsors, and exhibitors to form closer relationships in a bid to confirm the success of these events.
Remember, engagement at these events is how success is gained and measured. This is why exhibition booths are so important, as it’s the booths that determine event ROI and other key performance metrics.
The tips covered above should give you everything you need to increase virtual booth engagement at online trade shows and exhibitions.
From gamifying your booths to handing out event swag. It all pushes for an engaging environment that is beneficial for organisers, and most of all, those in attendance.
Every custom virtual booth we’ve created has been with attendees in mind, which explains why our custom platform has been used by countless organisers and brands. Simply put, our virtual booths are unmissable.
For more information, get in touch with our team today!
Virtual Booth FAQs
What is a virtual booth?
A virtual booth is a space within a virtual exhibition or trade show that acts as a direct line to exhibitors. Attendees can access these booths from anywhere and can interact with experts directly. Virtual exhibition booths display all kinds of information, including video content.
How do you attract people to a virtual booth?
The first thing you need to do is ensure that your virtual booth ticks all of the standard boxes. For example, it needs to be interactive. It should also be fully customisable for exhibitors so that they can brand their booths accordingly.
What are the best virtual booth examples?
There are multiple ways to approach building a virtual booth, depending on the limits of the platform in question. The iVent platform is incredibly versatile, not to mention, powerful. In other words, you can find some of the best virtual booth examples right here on our website.