A new approach to digital trade fairs

Our approach to digital trade fairs during the Corona pandemic. Or how gamification could succeed in capturing the essence of the trade fair format digitally...

Actually, we all want trade shows to take place again. Nevertheless, more have now had to be canceled. Therefore, the topic of digital trade shows is topical for many organizers and industries. As a virtual event, a combination of live streams of presentations and digital networking opportunities seems to be catching on and we have seen some promising implementations.

For us at Conteo, however, these solutions represent virtual congresses rather than trade fairs. We would therefore like to present a different approach, which in our opinion is more in line with the trade fair format.

The essence of the format fair

What makes the trade fair format? For us, it is the exhibitors and what they present at the fair: their exhibits, novelties, the stories told by the stand staff, etc. During the fair there is a kind of "competition" between the exhibitors for the attention of the visitors. And the winners in the end are the exhibitors whose contributions (i.e. exhibits, novelties, etc.) the industry talks about.

The digital trade fair as a competition

This essence has not been captured by previous virtual events. This is precisely what we would like to do. The key to this, in our opinion, is to "digitalize" the competition for visitors' attention and thus generate the dynamics of a trade show that are beneficial to all parties involved.

But how do we do this?

  1. we give exhibitors the opportunity to capture their contributions before the digital trade fair. For this purpose, attractive content formats with videos, images and texts are available to them. Each contribution can be linked to different topics and categories.
  2. the digital fair opens during two weeks. During this time, all registered visitors can vote for the exhibitors' contributions and award one to ten points. Thanks to personalization and algorithms, visitors can easily find the contributions that are interesting for them. During the two weeks, exhibitors have the opportunity to promote their contributions and motivate their contacts to visit the digital event.
  3. a live ranking list provides insight at any time into which entries are attracting the most attention overall and in various categories and are currently in the lead in the voting. On the last day of the digital trade fair, the winners per category are awarded in a live-streamed closing event.


Artificial dynamics for the benefit of all stakeholders

In this way, we artificially create a dynamic that is to everyone's advantage. A place is created again where people meet and talk - just like at a physical trade fair.

The digital trade show gives exhibitors various opportunities to generate touch points with existing and potential new customers. For example, they can point customers and leads to their contributions: "We are presenting the following new product at the digital trade fair. Please vote for our contribution if you find it exciting". This allows for a better touch point than, "We have a new product. Check it out now".

The digital trade fair gives visitors the opportunity to find out about all the exhibitors' innovations quickly and in one place. They can also support their favorite suppliers and partners.

Even without a physical event, the industry has something that brings it together. The digital trade show and the competition in a way determine what the industry talks about. Social media acts as a catalyst here.

For the organizer, the digital trade show offers the opportunity to be present in the industry despite cancellations and to generate urgently needed sales. Since most exhibitors have already reserved budget for participation in the physical trade show, it is usually easy to convince them to participate in a cheaper, digital trade show.


Does it sound interesting?

Get in touch with me. I will be happy to discuss the topic with you in more detail.