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As companies are striving to meet their revenue goals, they are looking for new ways to reach the right audience. This hybrid conference setting is a great opportunity for exhibitors and attendees alike. But in order to get the most out of this situation, it’s important to plan ahead.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss how exhibitors can maximise their success at hybrid conferences by engaging with both on-site and online audiences through exhibition booth design, staff training, social media marketing strategy, and more!
Table of Contents
What is a hybrid conference setting and why should you care about it
Rather than spending a tonne of cash, getting on a plane, and spending 3 days standing around talking to hundreds of people that maybe will turn into a decent lead you can convert. A hybrid event means you can reduce your expenses offline, and have a team of salespeople online that can talk to any number of attendees.
It also has the benefit that you can collect many more leads from guests that attend your virtual booth, but they don’t directly reach out to you but spend time browsing your offer, you can now cold call them to get them into a conversation.
The benefits of attending both in-person and online conferences
Many attendees will only be able to spend small amounts of time actually communicating with vendors at an event, there are going to be work distractions, speaker sessions, time restrictions and much much more.
However, if you have a QR code, that can direct your users to your online presence, you can ensure that your team back home are online and can pick up any conversations that you may miss from the booth.
It’s the way to start bridging the gap between the online and offline world while still providing the event attendees with access to information and contacts that need when they need it.
How to maximise your booth’s success at a hybrid conference
An exhibitor booth at a hybrid conference is the perfect opportunity to show off your company’s latest products and services. However, with so many different networking events going on during those three days of exhibition time, it can be easy for an exhibitor booth to get lost in the shuffle.
But, with the right hybrid conference exhibition booth strategy in place, it is possible to maximize your company’s success at a hybrid conference.
Here are some ideas on how you can do just that:
- Set up an online blog or social media account for attendees to follow while they’re attending the hybrid conference so that they have one more way to stay up-to-date on your company’s latest news.
- Promote a hybrid conference exhibition booth contest for attendees and exhibitors alike, where the most engaged participants win hybrid conference swag (and maybe even some hybrid conference tickets)
- Create hybrid conference exhibition booth signage that is easily visible to attendees at networking events, but also contains QR codes for exhibitors and attendees to use when they want to go deeper into your company’s services.
Tips for what to do if you’re not participating in the live event but still want an exhibitor badge
Even if you’re not participating in the live event, there are still ways to be involved by having an exhibitor badge that grants access. Make sure you check with your hybrid conference’s registration team about whether or not this is possible and how it can work for your situation. Also make sure attendees know beforehand that they will need a pass to access your booth, just in case they arrive without one.
Why it makes sense to use social media as part of your marketing strategy even if you’re not at the event
Exhibitors need to look for ways to bring the online world and connection opportunities to offline events and using your social media channels is a great way to do that.
If you have built a following on your social channels and you have been smart about the audience that follows you, then announcing that you’re available at the event is a great way to get engagement.
Additionally, if you tell your followers to let you know you’re already engaged then you can reward them with some swag, that they wouldn’t otherwise get.
Be aware of the different needs and expectations from each audience
There are different expectations and needs from each audience, so it is important to be aware of what these may be. On one hand, there will most likely be an online presence with the hybrid conference which means that they want a digital connection and on the other hand exhibitors require more offline engagement such as face-to-face networking. This may mean that exhibitors need to make an effort to engage with those who are attending the hybrid conference as well as those they already know.
- Hybrid conference attendees want a digital connection
- Hybrid conference wants online and offline engagement from exhibitors via their connections made at the event (face-to-face)
- Booth staff should engage hybrid conference attendees and exhibitors on both online and offline platform
- Booth staff need to engage hybrid conference exhibition attendees and exhibitors on both digital and face-to-face engagement levels.
It is also important for the exhibitor to meet with those who they do not know, as well as their existing contacts at a hybrid conference.
Make sure your booth is set up to accommodate both audiences
It is important that your booth or exhibition space caters to both audiences, hybrid conference attendees and exhibitors. This means having an online presence as well as offline face-to-face engagement with visitors at the hybrid conference.
An exhibitor should have their own dedicated area where they can engage in networking activities such as hosting a food station and providing laptops and power-points for hybrid conference attendees.
The exhibitor should also consider their existing connections and be aware of what types of audiences they will encounter at the hybrid conference, in order to create a successful experience with both online and offline engagement that is beneficial to all parties involved.
Don’t forget about branding your booth on and offline.
Branding your exhibition booth needs to be eyecatching and engaging but you have to remember one simple thing, guests will walk past your booth and read the biggest sign.
If that sign doesn’t convey your message clearly, and simply then people will just walk past.
How many times have you walked past a booth and thought, “what do they actually do?” your brand messaging needs to be on point, if you don’t already have a well-known value proposition or name, then this is crucial.
It’s the same as online, you’re building a small website, and this needs to look as good as your booth. Same logos, colours, value propositions, and more.
You need to ensure you have downloadable content, videos and if possible a way to engage users there and then.
Blending your on and offline experience is going to be key to getting the most out of the event for both you as an exhibitor and the guests who you are hoping to convert into customers.
If you put more energy into the online element to your conference and have a seamless integration between the two, you are absolutely going to benefit from the event. You will generate more leads and build a better database that you can close on your product or service.