Virtual Events (Industry Conferences and Trade Shows*) proved themselves as a concept during the Covid pandemic. However, they do not provide the exact same experience of physical events. The differences can be summarised as follows:
(N.B. Hybrid Events are simply Physical Events that are extended by offering the option of virtual access.)
In this section we cover:
The solutions we propose are:
Furthermore, we looked to find solutions where the event organiser does not take any external financial risk i.e no up-front payment to anyone. In our opinion, their risk should be limited to the internal resources they would have to commit to develop, promote and manage the event.
How good is that?
*We do not cover webinars or podcasts here. Although these are usually broadcast "live", they are also recorded and made available online after the broadcast - to be viewed post-event. Here we are concentrating on industry conferences and trade shows where the emphasis is on live B2B communication.
Virtual Exhibition Platform - We reviewed many platforms, there are many, Virtual Event Platforms on the market and what we noticed is that the focus for many was on replacing physical events - and not on providing an event experience fully adapted to technological realities and the differences between virtual and physical experiences.
The general critique we would make of these platforms would make the following points:
We suggest that a Virtual Event Platform should have the following key features:
An example could look something like this:
The Conference Centre
The area where presentations, round tables etc. take place.
This lists the Exhibiting Companies: Name, Logo, Brief Description with Link to the Virtual Stand.
Where participants can meet.
When you look at it - all that is needed is the Lobby Image with links to suitable supporting areas - and that's what we offer.
Virtual Conference Platform. There are many platforms out there that we reviewed. We looked for an easy-to-use, fully featured and cost-effective solution with the following key features:
Attendees can passively watch a stream or raise their hand and ask to join the speaker on stage. If they would rather stay off-camera, attendees can still join in the live chat and Q&A.
These help people host interesting debates and curated conversations. These are perfect for:
- Hybrid Events.
A smooth registration and follow-up service is fundamental to a successful event.
Colours, fonts and images can be tailored for each and every event.
The platform should feature audio only stages and breakouts i.e. the facility to broadcasts events without spending thousands on unnecessary video equipment.
For anything from a 20 person event to a 100,000 global conference.
User authentication is ISO27001/27018 certified by a third party and has completed a full third-party SOC 2 Type II audit. Your data is safe with Arena.
From stages for keynotes and breakout rooms for small sessions.
Attendees can see a summary of who is in a room, and how many people will attend in total before entering. Upon entering, they can engage in a dedicated chat stream for each stage, ask the speaker questions and upvote other questions they would like to hear answered.
We found that Arena provided all the required features with a pricing structure that is both competitive and does not require upfront payment from the event organiser.
N.B. You will need to integrate one or more of the following services:
An explanation of these services is also covered in the later section: Support Services.
We take the view that Virtual Stands should not be difficult to set up and expensive. The philosophy is to provide you with a stand that is:
The TTS Virtual Stand is fully featured with:
The stand can be customised with:
Once you have completed the easy steps for the initial configuration, your Virtual Stand can be quickly and easily updated (e.g. for other trade shows) whenever you want. (Our pricing plan allows you to personally configure the Virtual Stand - free of charge - before you decide whether to subscribe or not. So You Can See Before you Subscribe.)
Chatbots can be into the Virtual Stand. If you do not yet have a chatbot, there are many service providers that you can find online - most offer a free trial period. However, if you are looking for a permanently free service, then we can suggest you check out:
Using Your Virtual Stand as a Stand-Alone Asset
Your subscription covers 12 months - and has multiple uses.
The Virtual Stand is completely portable - the link provided can be used to embed the stand into any online environment e.g.
As the Virtual Stands have their own Meeting Room facilities, in addition to being used within a Trade Show environment, they can be used for:
If you think the stand could be of interest, just drop us a line and we'll get back to you with details - including how you can have a free no-obligation trial.
The Registration Process should include the following features:
Registered attendees can add events to their calendars with a single click and receive a confirmation email with the Event link and Event details.
The Event organisers are always in full control and can very easily edit or remove attendees from the event at all times.
The facility to capture extra details from attendees such as interests and preferences, or sales related information like seniority and annual budget.
The ability to show / hide rooms based on the attendee's ticket type to personalise the experience for different types of attendee.
Attendees simply enter their email address to register for the Event immediately receiving an email confirmation that includes the event link and details.
The options to choose between public registration (anyone with a link can attend) and private registration (only those with matching email can attend).
These are all included in the TTS proposal ;-)
In addition to the Virtual Stands and Exhibition & Conference Platforms, you will also need to choose a number of Supporting Services.
The Supporting Services are also listed in the areas where they would be deployed, but we thought it would help to list and describe all of them here.
Your Virtual Stand would be significantly strengthened by the addition of a chatbot. There are a number of commercial services available and you should choose the one that best suits your requirements. However, we can indicate two services that offer free chatbot services: