Virtual booths can be just as powerful, if not more so, than a live exhibit hall. The challenge is getting attendees to visit and interact with those booths. During our RainFocus INSIGHT panel, Providing Exhibitors With Value to Keep Them Coming Back, attendees showed interest in virtual booth promotion. In response to their questions, we’ve put together this list of ten marketing tactics for driving traffic to virtual booths.
Content is king online. With the help of our data analysts and customers, we’ve discovered a 120.3% uptick in sponsored session attendance in the last year. Offering exhibitors sponsored session packages will not only grant them increased booth traffic but will also help you boost your overall event ROI. By converting session attendees into leads, sponsored sessions produce a bounty of hot leads for exhibitors.
Much like sponsored sessions, collaborated sessions offer high lead counts for exhibitors. Consider offering exhibitors positions in your panel sessions, workshops, and other multi-speaker sessions. Collaborated sessions enable exhibitors to educate attendees about their product in a more natural, conversational way.
Incentivizing booth visitation has proven to be a highly effective way of connecting attendees with exhibitors. In fact, gamification increases engagement by 80%*. There are many ways to integrate sponsors into your event gamification strategy.
Consider awarding attendees points for the following actions:
Align your exhibitors with the content that most pertains to their offering and then block time in your attendees’ schedules to meet with relevant exhibitors. Building exhibitors into attendees’ agendas will encourage them to interact even more and will provide them quick access to exhibitor booths. For example, if your exhibitors sold marketing software you would include them in your track for marketing professionals.
Utilizing social media for sponsorship promotion can be a way to draw attendees back to your event. Now that events are virtual, event teams can embrace the opportunity to maximize social media. There are endless forms of social promotion that can elevate the value of your event for exhibitors. For example, you could create a highlights reel for exhibitors, award those who tag your event along with a sponsor’s name, create templated posts for your exhibitors to share on their own social profiles, and much more.
Emails are the foundation of all digital marketing. Virtual booths can be a great way to get attendees engaging early with your event. Email attendees before your start date and invite them to explore your exhibitor catalog. Include your exhibitors in your post-registration and post-survey emails to provide them with greater exposure. If your event is public, encourage your exhibitors to email their own prospects inviting them to meet up at your event.
When Possible, Integrate
Are there opportunities to showcase exhibitor products as part of your virtual event? When executed well, this can be one of the most valuable tactics for promoting exhibitors. For example, during RainFocus INSIGHT we integrated with and showcased Pigeonhole Live for Q&A, Ubersnap for our digital photo booth, D3G Productions for simulive sessions, Braindate for meetings, and Eventbase for mobile. Since the event, many of our attendees have reached out to our exhibitors to form partnerships for their own events. Not only did our exhibitors gain instant leads, but we also benefited from their contributions to our event.
When you can’t integrate with exhibitors, consider offering them a spot in your physical SWAG send. SWAG gives attendees something tangible to associate with their virtual experience and encourages participation and engagement. Read Virtual Event SWAG: Tips for Shipping, Item Selection, and More to learn how to implement a virtual SWAG send.
Don’t Limit Opportunities to One Event
The future of sponsorships is quickly moving toward a multi-event model. Many teams offer exhibitors recurring spots in their smaller repeating events. Consider which of your online events could reasonably house virtual booths.
Enable Topic-Based Content Searches
Help attendees find the exhibitors who are going to be of most interest to them by organizing your exhibitors by industry or product. By grouping exhibitors together, you may help attendees discover a vendor that they would not have considered prior to your event.