Discussions

Engaging Virtual Conference Attendees

Posted by Julie Swenson @julieswenson, Nov 10, 2020

Hi Everyone, I'm putting together a plan for social media at a virtual conference. What are your tips on how to engage conference attendees and build excitement for your presentations and get attendees to come to your virtual booth? Thanks for your help! ๐Ÿ™‚

We just did a virtual booth that allowed video so I made a short video slideshow with a voiceover explaining our relevant services. Also, you could either use generic business people stock photos standing in front of your booth, or upload your own art — so I carefully cropped out a recruiter from a past live event and uploaded her photo. We got a lot of great feedback and entries on the guest book. My advice is get a designer and take advantage of the customization features as much as possible.

virtualtradeshowbooth

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Topic/Scope of the conference?

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@matthewrehrl

Topic/Scope of the conference?

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Great question, Matthew! The conferences I'm thinking of are all about pelvic health, urology and urogynecology

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Great timing, as I'm at the moment sitting by myself in a virtual booth! ๐Ÿ™ One of the challenges is that for an in-person meeting, organizers can lure attendees in to the exhibit hall with coffee – but that's not an option right now! I'm interested in hearing the feedback to this question. But I think it's also on organizers to figure out how to drive traffic for virtual events. I've worked events that had "Exhibit Hall Bingo" with prizes. Perhaps some sort of virtual "Bingo" – where they have to visit your virtual booth to get specific pieces of info.

Liked by Julie Swenson

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@KimberlyGDATF

Great timing, as I'm at the moment sitting by myself in a virtual booth! ๐Ÿ™ One of the challenges is that for an in-person meeting, organizers can lure attendees in to the exhibit hall with coffee – but that's not an option right now! I'm interested in hearing the feedback to this question. But I think it's also on organizers to figure out how to drive traffic for virtual events. I've worked events that had "Exhibit Hall Bingo" with prizes. Perhaps some sort of virtual "Bingo" – where they have to visit your virtual booth to get specific pieces of info.

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What about a drawing where entries are based on some level of connection — watch a video, engage in a chat or Zoom session, download a white paper, complete a survey, etc. Of course, this assumes that the virtual platform can tell you who came and what they interacted with. Virtual gift cards make the most sense as they are easy to send out — Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, Amex. This works whether you are in the booth or not. In my experience, most of the booth traffic was not during "exhibit hours".

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@apafford

We just did a virtual booth that allowed video so I made a short video slideshow with a voiceover explaining our relevant services. Also, you could either use generic business people stock photos standing in front of your booth, or upload your own art — so I carefully cropped out a recruiter from a past live event and uploaded her photo. We got a lot of great feedback and entries on the guest book. My advice is get a designer and take advantage of the customization features as much as possible.

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That is super impressive! Did you have to design this all yourself or did you get a teamplate to work with?

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@cjbryant

What about a drawing where entries are based on some level of connection — watch a video, engage in a chat or Zoom session, download a white paper, complete a survey, etc. Of course, this assumes that the virtual platform can tell you who came and what they interacted with. Virtual gift cards make the most sense as they are easy to send out — Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, Amex. This works whether you are in the booth or not. In my experience, most of the booth traffic was not during "exhibit hours".

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That is so interesting that the booth traffic was not during "exhibit hours". So people were stopping by when the exhibit was officially closed and you could see what they were doing?

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@KimberlyGDATF

Great timing, as I'm at the moment sitting by myself in a virtual booth! ๐Ÿ™ One of the challenges is that for an in-person meeting, organizers can lure attendees in to the exhibit hall with coffee – but that's not an option right now! I'm interested in hearing the feedback to this question. But I think it's also on organizers to figure out how to drive traffic for virtual events. I've worked events that had "Exhibit Hall Bingo" with prizes. Perhaps some sort of virtual "Bingo" – where they have to visit your virtual booth to get specific pieces of info.

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Everybody loves Bingo, what a great idea. I have seen conferences create virtual post cards people can share on social media too. All of this is really challenging!

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@julieswenson

That is so interesting that the booth traffic was not during "exhibit hours". So people were stopping by when the exhibit was officially closed and you could see what they were doing?

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I think you were asking Carla – but after the event I exhibited at, we received a report showing who all had visited the virtual booth. The actual "hours" were only 30 minutes each day, where attendees could hop into a Zoom room.

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@julieswenson

That is super impressive! Did you have to design this all yourself or did you get a teamplate to work with?

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There was a base template, we could select colors, insert HTML, add text/links in limited quantity. Adding our recruiter and the video was trial and error. I could have also made my own background, but this worked for our purposes. I understand most exhibitors don't even complete the template and use default clip art people that are included. It occurred to me a lucrative business might be setting up virtual tradeshow booths on behalf of clients. Most don't have a dedicated designer or even access to the needed digital collateral.

Liked by Julie Swenson

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Wasn't it the Mayo/SHSMD virtual conference that had a game room? A few of us were competing in a game that posted high scores and awarded badges. It was a fun engagement tool and led to some networking opportunities. Now I can't recall if it was trivia or something else. I believe it was text based.

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@julieswenson

Great question, Matthew! The conferences I'm thinking of are all about pelvic health, urology and urogynecology

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The recent OCRA Conference had a lounge where you could go to meet other patient advocates/ cancer survivors. It was a great set up . You moved your circle over another and a group formed with everyone showing up on the screen like zoom and you chatted in real time . There was also an exhibit hall and you could stop by each table and see videos and info sheets.
You might want to set up a room for "Ask and Expert" where folks could drop in and ask questions.

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@apafford

There was a base template, we could select colors, insert HTML, add text/links in limited quantity. Adding our recruiter and the video was trial and error. I could have also made my own background, but this worked for our purposes. I understand most exhibitors don't even complete the template and use default clip art people that are included. It occurred to me a lucrative business might be setting up virtual tradeshow booths on behalf of clients. Most don't have a dedicated designer or even access to the needed digital collateral.

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Did you use a vendor or a program to set it up?

Liked by Julie Swenson

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@apafford

There was a base template, we could select colors, insert HTML, add text/links in limited quantity. Adding our recruiter and the video was trial and error. I could have also made my own background, but this worked for our purposes. I understand most exhibitors don't even complete the template and use default clip art people that are included. It occurred to me a lucrative business might be setting up virtual tradeshow booths on behalf of clients. Most don't have a dedicated designer or even access to the needed digital collateral.

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Do you mind to share what platform was used for this? Some of the ones I've seen are good, but don't seem nearly as customizable as yours. It looks great!

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@kbakerkansas

Did you use a vendor or a program to set it up?

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@kbakerkansas @staceybiggs This was through https://www.virtualeventplace.com/. They hosted the event, so all of the vendors were in this platform. I did the work myself with their site template. It's complicated to get good results, but they seem to offer a lot of different options for booths including paying for them to design something custom. Unlike an in-person tradeshow, I don't think having the biggest shiniest booth is helping you make an impression, but branding the content is important for a first impression.

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