The exhibition hall is a familiar and much loved feature of any conference. But what does that look like when your conference is online?
For a wholly online conference the exhibition is often a dedicated page, either online or within the virtual conferencing platform, containing the list of all exhibitors. This list can include logos and often arranges exhibitors based on their sponsorship level but with the option to search alphabetically. Each listing in the digital exhibition takes delegates to the exhibitor’s profile.
The exhibitor profile contains the exhibitors name and logo, a company profile, contact details and any other information the exhibitor wishes to share. This could include videos, product information, downloads, staff profiles, office locations and the ability to send instant messages.
More sophisticated systems may be able to create a 3D render of the exhibition hall and allow delegates to navigate through the virtual space to access the exhibitor’s profile.
For hybrid events you might consider filming the exhibition hall to allow online attendees to engage with the space in the same way as your in-person attendees. This format could be especially helpful if you have many exhibitors showcasing large products.
However you choose to showcase your exhibitors, the virtual exhibition hall provides an effective way to connect exhibitors and delegates.
Each option has pros and cons, and your choice will depend on the capabilities of your online platform, your budget and what you feel will suit the look and feel of your event best. Regardless of which is the right fit for your event, virtual exhibitions can have two key benefits over a physical exhibition hall.
Data and analytics for exhibitors are greatly improved in a virtual exhibition. Most virtual conference platforms have sophisticated analytics as standard inclusions, and automatically collect data on who engaged with exhibitor content, in what way and for how long. To collect similar data onsite often requires expensive hardware, additional software or several unreliable clipboards.
Additionally the virtual environment allows delegates to locate and engage with exhibitors more easily than they would in a physical environment. A few mouse clicks is all it takes for attendees to find their desired exhibitor and begin a conversation.