Reimagining the Tradeshow Experience

December 1, 2020

As much as we all miss getting together in person, there’s no way around it – virtual tradeshows have arrived and they’re here to stay, at least in some capacity. Promotional product industry tradeshows in 2021 are either being held entirely in a virtual environment, or with a mixture of physical and virtual elements.

Whether you’re planning to attend a virtual show as a guest or as an exhibitor, SanMar’s tradeshow experts have some advice to help you make the most of your time.

  • Set goals. Decide what you want to get out of the tradeshow experience and let that guide what you do while you’re there.
  • Plan ahead. Most tradeshows publish a schedule of events in advance. Take a look and see which ones align best with the goal you just set.
  • Get in early. Log in to the platform before the show actually begins to make sure you know how it works and have downloaded any needed software.
  • Introduce yourself. Don’t be a faceless wonder! Customize your user profile and avatar to make sure others know who you are and why you’re there.
  • Take a virtual stroll. Set aside at least two to three hours to explore the virtual show booths.
  • Be engaged. Remember that you paid to be here. Spend your time at the show wisely by being present, attentive, and aware of what you’re doing and you’re seeing.
  • Go back for seconds. Most virtual tradeshows are recorded or archived in some form. If you missed something, or if you’d like to see something again, see if you can access the same content after the show.
  • Be social. Look up the vendors or speakers you met during the show and connect with them on social media platforms.

Finally, remember that a virtual show does not require travel and often comes with a lower cost for registration. A big show like the PPAI Expo and smaller local shows that would be costly to travel to might have been out of your price range before – but you can share the experience without the big price tag by attending it virtually.

For more tips and best practices about the virtual tradeshow experience, download our latest How-To sheet.

Which shows are you planning to attend this year, and what will you be doing while you’re there? Join the conversation and let us know on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.