Tips for Exhibiting at Virtual Trade Shows
By Dana McCauley
In anticipation of the upcoming Restaurants Canada Show, FCC and I hosted a webinar to help venders and visitors prepare for the show. I interviewed Lynn Siegal and Mike Tkaczuk, two successful food suppliers and Jay Ashton and Martin Kouprie, two well-seasoned chefs. We spent an hour talking about best practices for exhibiting and attending trade shows, focusing on how to make the most of virtual trade events. You can watch the entire dicsuss by following this link or by tapping on the image below.
Below are my top three take away points from that conversation for food companies who plan to use trade shows to grow their businesses. I hope you find them helpful and inspiring.
1. Learning: Whether online or in person, a good food trade show booth will find ways to teach visitors something new. For virtual trade shows, consider creating videos that educate people about your product or that demonstrate how your products or services can improve business outcomes. Likewise, videos that show people tasting and discussing your product are great, especially if the person describing the benefits of the product has industry credibility.
2. Interaction: Finding ways to be interactive at an online tradeshow is tricky. I found my self pressing the ‘Esc’ button recently when I was bombarded by messages and video chat requests from multiple people associated with the booth I had just entered at a grocery industry trade show. Their efforts could have been successful if they had designated one team member to seed a conversation. Sharing a tidbit of information or offering me a link to something they wanted to highlight for their visitors would have been a much better approach. Or, if they had invited me to join a group chat where all visitors and their team could get information, take polls and join discussions, I think I would have stuck around.
3. Product Experience: With live tastings impossible in a virtual format, food companies need to make it easy for potential customers to order product samples. Additionally, when sending samples, exhibitors should act promptly to sustain the visitors attention. Buyers say adding a personal touch such as including a hand-written notes or QR codes that provide additional information can make a lasting impression, too.
PS: I’ll be sharing additional trade show insights with my newsletter subscribers so you may want to join that list if you haven’t already.