Exhibitors and event organisers are taking advantage of the ‘virtual world’ here and now.
It should come as no surprise that the numbers of people now turning to the virtual world on a daily basis have increased sharply since the start of last year. Technological advances, along with new and improved methods of delivery, are forever evolving. And it’s especially true in all things digital, online and virtual.
These advances are often created long before the public tend to adopt them en masse. It sometimes takes the general public as long as three or four years to fully embrace a new piece of technology. But with the pandemic taking hold in the spring of last year, businesses and organisations needed to quickly find a way of getting their messages across.
So ‘virtual’ became the way forward, when it came to promoting and selling products, or holding meetings. Exhibitors wasted little time in finding alternative methods to gain exposure for their brand. It was probably all going to happen anyway but, because of Covid and the subsequent restrictions caused by lockdown, the future arrived earlier than anticipated.
The world of business suddenly had to grasp these changes sooner and faster than they would normally be expected too. It has enabled us all to work from home, attend virtual exhibitions, and make contact with colleagues halfway around the globe. It’s the new normal that won’t be going away.
And it’s not just our desktops and laptops absorbing this new way of life, it’s our mobile phones too. In many ways, phones have taken over from other portable devices for keeping up to date with messages, the news, travel information and even the weather. It’s also a great way to take part in a Zoom meeting while travelling from A to B. You can even take a walk in your local park while, at the same time, logging into a virtual exhibition or discussing a business deal face-to-face.
One of the many benefits of this new virtual trend is the opportunity for a business to reach a global audience. When it comes to the world of virtual exhibitions, it is possible to attend at any time, of any day. Because there is no need to physically visit an event, it can be made available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and accessible to those in Sydney, as well as to the residents of Reykjavík, Birmingham, Cape Town, Dubai and the rest.
An event doesn’t have to close at 11pm; the organisers are not restricted by geography or by local train times; and exhibitors can showcase their products and services to anyone, anywhere, anytime. The exhibition industry has come a long way thanks to digital transformation, which now offers organisers more opportunities to be creative.
This does not mean all future exhibitions will solely take place online. Far from it, there is now the chance for ‘virtual’ and ‘physical’ events to take place side by side at the same time. While the ‘physical’ version may have a shelf life of a few days, the ‘virtual’ alternative has the ability to last much longer.
Nowadays, exhibitions and events do not need to be restricted to days, weeks or even months. The door is now open for businesses and business people to engage in virtual networking while attending one of these events online. It is also possible for an individual to attend more than one virtual exhibition at any given time. The opportunities for networking and showcasing are endless.
However, moving from ‘physical’ to ‘virtual’ has had its challenges, especially when it comes to users adopting compatible forms of software. Not every mobile phone or laptop runs with the same degree of efficiency, or at the same processing speed. Exhibitors and event organisers have also had to convert hearts and minds too. But, in general, it is starting to take shape and virtual events and exhibitions are certainly here to stay.