We’ve said this many times… exhibitors and sponsors are the backbone of podiatric conferences. They pay the bulk of the fees so meeting planners can offer a 5-star program to attendees while still keeping their registration costs low. As the need for virtual/online seminars grows to deliver continuing education credits to DPMs, don’t forget to provide value to your exhibitors.
Think about how hard it has been convincing attendees to walk the exhibit hall at a live, in-person conference. Oh Boy! It seems to be 1,000 times more difficult to drive meaningful engagement to a virtual exhibit hall.
Exhibitors depend on their ROI and exposure to attendees, just as meetings depend on exhibitor fees to execute a successful event. A simple webpage with logos and links is not going to cut it any longer. There must be excitement generated inside the virtual exhibit hall.
There are lots of ideas out there… ask your exhibitors for their feedback! Many have already participated in virtual exhibits and can offer suggestions on what worked and what didn’t.
PodiatryMeetings.com recently held the first ever PodiatryExpo – an online virtual trade show. We limited our exhibit hall to only 19 vendors so each one received attention from attendees. Our goal was 100 paid attendees and we exceeded with 131. We offered live and recorded webinars from our sponsors so that attendees could learn about incorporating new products into their practice. All the feedback we’ve received from both attendees and exhibitors has been overwhelmingly positive.
If your organization is considering a virtual event and is looking for some ideas, please reach out to us! We are here to help the industry and that includes meeting planners.