In the new normal, there are virtual events and virtual booths.
Both businesses and attendees knew what a booth looked like at an in-person event.
As an exhibitor or sponsor, you knew the amount of space you had, your location on the conference grounds, and had the opportunity to play with shapes and colors to stand out.
But what about a booth in a virtual venue?
Organizers, exhibitors, and sponsors all have one thing in common: You want to attract attendees to your online booth.
But how? And what are the best practices associated with these new booths?
That’s exactly what we’re going to tackle below.
This article will help you as an event organizer with your own booth and will help your sponsors and exhibitors with theirs.
So be sure to share this article with them for maximum use of your virtual booths.
What is a virtual booth?
The virtual booth carries the same idea as a physical booth. It’s a place where companies and brands can showcase their products and services, offer help and support to potential customers, interact, engage, and sell.
In other words, it’s a place to connect and network (and possibly grow revenues).
A virtual booth is no different from its physical counterpart in the options it provides. But it comes with more benefits and opportunities for engagement and growth.
For one thing, a virtual booth can help you, as a business, interact with more attendees at the same time, collect information easily, and cut on booth costs.
That said, an online booth isn’t merely about setting up your customer support or sales agents behind a webcam and having them answer questions.
It’s a far more engaging experience. One you should use to interact and connect with your audience.
Imagine the virtual booth as being your representation in the virtual event or conference. You want to use this booth to attract attendees and potential customers, investors, or connections.
You also want to use this booth to showcase your products and services.
The virtual event industry is booming!
The industry for virtual events was estimated at a whopping $78 billion in 2019. And that was when the world was pandemic-free with no lockdowns or fears of contagion.
Since then the world has changed drastically and the industry has ballooned in size.
It’s no longer just fears of closed spaces, but more businesses and people have realized the benefits of virtual conferences and events and even more are enjoying them.
That’s why new research shows that the virtual events market is forecast to surge to $404.5 billion by 2027. That’s a staggering 23.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2020 and 2027.
Check out this list of 50 Virtual Events Statistics that Will Help You Make Better Decisions
The “increasing number of business events, along with growing adoption of virtual infrastructure, tools, and services by enterprises for business meetings worldwide, is expected to fuel the growth of the market [from 2020 to 2027], explains Grand View Research.
The size of the industry isn’t all that matters. A survey by Markletic found that 87% of event organizers preferred virtual event platforms that offered virtual booths for their sponsors and exhibitors.
Best practices for virtual booths: The basics
Let’s start with the basic best practices for online booths.
Your virtual booth is where you display everything about you and everything you do. You want to make attendees curious but also attract the right ones for you.
All the tips included in this article can be used by event organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors.
We recommend using as many of them as you can.
1. Understand all the benefits beforehand
One of the first things to do is understand how your virtual booth works, what it includes, and all the ins and outs of it.
Does it offer video? What about networking? Can you offer lead magnets through it? These are just a few questions you can ask the event organizer or the virtual event platform.
Quiz them about all the options you’re getting.
If you’re a sponsor or exhibitor, your reference point will be the event organizer.
2. Display your logo
Like a physical event, your booth needs a logo.
More importantly, your logo should be clear on the booth’s main page.
It’s the first thing attendees will see. So it’s kind of like the entrance to your booth.
3. Have a clear about section
Now that your logo is ready, write a clear “About” section that explains who you are and what you do.
Mention how your business helps people and other companies for better targeting and to attract qualified leads.
You can also mention what topics attendees can discuss or the talks they can join in your booth in the “About” section.
4. Make your online booth attractive
Use colors that make you stand out but that aren’t hurtful to the eye.
Virtual booths are much easier to customize than physical ones. So try out various options before the big day.
You can also mix-up what you’re offering to attendees between images, live video, pre-recorded videos, a quick fireside chat, and more.
5. Add images of your products/services
What’s your business about? What do you sell? If you have a wide range of products and services, create images with clear descriptions for each.
Make sure you design your booth in a way that serves your brand voice but at the same time helps attendees reach out to you.
If you’re running a special sale during the virtual event, mention that in your booth.
Here are a few more tips to designing virtual booths from our client RiseUp.
Networking, prep, and more
Now that you know the setup basics, let’s dive into the deeper parts of your online booth.
6. Have a networking area
If you’re using Eventtus as your virtual event platform, networking is done through Circles.
As an event organizer, you can buy circles for yourself and for your sponsors and exhibitors.
Sponsors and exhibitors can request additional Circles from the organizer to suit their needs.
Check out our list of creative virtual networking ideas to get more out of your online booth.
7. Don’t leave anything till the last minute
This is YOUR event, your time to shine.
Whether you’re an organizer or sponsor or exhibitor, you need to be prepared.
The virtual event or conference helps you establish authority and market your business. This means you need to plan out what you’re serving in the event.
Create a plan and include realistic goals that you want to achieve by having a virtual booth at an online event. And don’t leave anything to chance or to the last minute.
8. Make sure the experience is smooth
Want your booth to matter? Offer a smooth experience.
Don’t hesitate to try everything out over and over again to ensure you’re ready. Go through all the ins and outs of the virtual platform and your online booth in advance.
Try out all the features, experiment with your videos, and lead generation materials. Leave nothing to chance and both your team and your attendees will thank you for it.
9. Make sure your team is ready to answer questions
Part of having a virtual booth is answering questions.
Make sure your team is ready to answer them. You can divide your booth into several circles or networking areas by topic and distribute your team members accordingly.
Consider having a list of in-advance frequently asked questions. If the event is longer than a day, you can compile the questions at the end of each day and run them by your team to speed up the process.
Make sure you have sales representatives available during the event and going through your booths.
Depending on the size of your team, you can have attendees with someone from marketing or customer support and when it’s time to complete a sale, send them over to sales or directly to your website.
Virtual booths and marketing
Now it’s time to go in even deeper and focus on the marketing side of your participation in a virtual event.
10. Tell attendees about your booth in advance
You probably know about the event you’re attending and the virtual booth you’re getting a few weeks if not months in advance.
This means you plenty time to prepare and more importantly market for your booth and presence.
Get on social media and tell your audience about your event participation. (Are you joining as a sponsor or exhibitor?)
Create a buzz early on and mention what they’ll be getting when they join you at the virtual event.
Consider booking meetings with attendees and potential customers for the event in-advance. That way, you have a roster of time slots taken even before the event starts. (This may not be applicable to all businesses)
11. Offer a handouts or a lead generation products
Handouts, short ebooks, reports, case studies, and whitepapers are great ways to build authority and attract attendees to your online booth.
You don’t have to go above and beyond. Just make sure that anything you’re offering to attendees and potential customers is relevant to your business and industry.
Remember the virtual event and booth are meant to help you grow your presence, make connections, and build authority. (And possibly your sales)
12. Grow your email list
Many businesses used to get lots of emails at in-person events. Now it’s a ton easier in a virtual setting.
Ask attendees visiting your online booth to give you their emails – and promise not to spam them.
You can then include them in a welcome and/or sales email sequence or send them your weekly or monthly newsletter.
Email marketing is big and if done right, can be a great source of revenue and brand building for your business.
13. Engage with your audience
Engaging your audience doesn’t necessarily mean networking with them – although networking is part of engagement.
Offering lead magnets, using social media, and using polls are among the top ways to engage your audience in a virtual event or conference.
14. Make it easy for attendees to buy your products
Did you know that over 80% of tradeshow attendees have the ability to make a buying decision for their business?
It’s true. So use that to your advantage. Make sure the process of buying your products and services is as easy as possible.
Customers who have to go through a maze to buy a product will leave – no matter how convincing you are.
Bonus tip: Use a promo code for the event for better measurement and tracking.
Last but not least tips
We’re almost there with this list of tips for virtual booths for sponsors, exhibitors, and event organizers.
These tips aren’t written in stone so it’s important to experiment with them. Like the following one.
15. Consider a special offer for the event (if applicable)
Depending on your business, what you sell, and the type of event you’re attending, you might want to offer a special offer on your products and services.
This helps in expos and virtual trade shows, where many people look to products and services that can help them.
If you create an email list from a virtual event you attended, you can provide them with a special offer after the event.
16. Gather feedback after the virtual event or conference
A great way to ensure that you’re on the right track when it comes to virtual expos, trade shows, conferences, and events is to get feedback. Especially after the event.
Not to mention, your relationship with your attendees doesn’t end after the event is over. Rather it’s just beginning.
Get your feedback both from your team and your attendees. You can offer a short and quick questionnaire to attendees via your virtual booth and in the final question ask them “What can we do better next time?”
As for feedback from your team, find out what your prospects’ top problems were based on your team’s conversations with them.
The information you’ll receive is priceless and can help you in your next online event.
Virtual booths with Eventtus
If you’re planning on using Eventtus as your virtual event platform, then here’s another bonus you get.
Eventtus is about helping businesses standout and make the most out of their virtual event experience.
It’s why we have a virtual event mobile app to help your attendees attend from anywhere at any time.
It’s an added bonus you can offer to your attendees as well as your sponsors and exhibitors.
In addition, Eventtus recently changed how its platform works so that businesses like you no longer have to pay for features.
Instead all the features are included regardless of the size of your event.
Now it’s your turn to create a virtual booth
Phew! This was a long list! But we’ve finished it.
By now, you have several – great – ideas about what you can do to customize virtual booths in your upcoming online events.
If you’re using Eventtus as your virtual event platform, you’re in for a surprise the first time you use the platform.
When you sign up, or sign in if you already have an account, you’ll get $250 in credit (enough for a small 50-attendee event) to get you started.
Discover what you can do with Eventtus and set your virtual booth for success.