This month I participated in two digital events: a fair and an open house. Here are some thoughts.

I “attended” the fair with a company that makes machinery for liquid foodstuffs. We should have attended the BrauBeviale fair – dedicated to the production and marketing of beer – in Nuremberg (10-12 November). Unfortunately, two weeks before we were advised that the fair had been canceled. At the same time, however, we were offered the alternative of a digital platform: MyBeviale. This virtual space was opened to coincide with the days of the fair but will remain active throughout the year. The idea is to create a sort of permanent fair through which operators from this sector can meet; be it either through chat or video conference. With this method, you can reach useful contacts in distant countries who would not have traveled this time. Unfortunately, the platform did not prove to be very functional. For example, the participants were not divided into exhibitors and visitors. Meaning that we were forced to view the over 3,000 registered users one by one to understand which side they are on (and in each profile there is no link to the company website). Perhaps it was setup a little too quickly and without experience. Even the Germans are not always efficient. However, the idea was good. The company in question is, in fact, entering a new market and it does not have a network of existing customers; on this platform it can find many.

The Open House, on the other hand, was my idea. In this case we are talking about a company that operates in the outdoor furniture contract market. 2020 was a bad year for this industry. In this case, however, the company has a rich list of existing customers who periodically receive our newsletters. Through this medium we have informed them of the possibility of a personalized meeting to attend the presentation of the new 2021 catalog. The event lasts two days and is currently in progress. We have had about 15 appointment requests; truly from all over the world. It is not a massive response, but it is an event with almost zero investment. We just made a short new video presentation of the company. These days – with no fairs and no travel – this initiative is a useful way for warming up contacts that we could otherwise only reach by email and telephone call. Besides showing that we are on top of things.

Some final thoughts on how to best deal with these events:

  • You must always have something new to present (a catalog, a product, a company anniversary, etc.), which acts as a “lure”.
  • The material presented must be of good quality (videos, data sheets, etc.).
  • It is important to know how to use the various tools for making video calls (therefore it is important to test everything before the call).
  • Finally, it is very important to have a good internet connection!

If you have just participated in a fair or digital event, share your experience with us.