Over many months now, companies and individuals in our industries have been looking with some alarm at all the cancelled exhibitions and events and asking themselves what now? Where do we go from here and what are the options? Many OEMs and suppliers had spent a lot of time and creative energy designing a new exhibition stand. Many had product launches prepared and new machinery waiting in the wings with staff at the ready to promote the company’s latest innovations. Visitors had set up itineraries and made travel plans and booked their accommodation. The printing industry was gearing up to meeting and greeting old and new friends and looking forward to seeing the latest developments in action and hearing all the latest industry news.
So where are we now? Well, many companies have adapted and revisited their strategies and rewired their plans. There are a few still holding fast until they see what develops but the majority are moving forward fast and grasping new opportunities to engage with their customers through social media channels, websites and media publications. Some are looking at exhibitions online!
Bridging the Gap
You may be thinking an online exhibition can never replace a live event – that live events are bound to come back, and you will tread water until then. Well okay, but why not take a look at printing-expo.online and see if in the meantime you can bridge the gap? This is an online exhibition that is different from the rest – it’s a unique 3D visual browsing experience. The technology is cloud based and ahead of the game. This is not a series of web pages or videos filmed on an iPhone where you have to click in and click out. This is the real deal! It is also environmentally friendly and cost effective, exciting and easily accessible. Printing Expo’s virtual exhibition provides a unique showcase for any company’s products and services in an arena that is branded and stylised specifically for them.
For visitors it’s an exciting and new way to see and hear about the latest industry innovations and technologies. Every visitor is a VIP. For exhibitors and their marketing teams, Printing Expo is a unique opportunity to adapt the stand they already have into a fully interactive 3D online model or design the stand of their dreams with creative concepts, a diversity of architecture and private and public spaces. With Printing Expo’s immersive online 3D visual browsing experience, exhibitors can engage with visitors by populating their stand with a range of interactive content, demonstrations and 1-1 opportunities where they can answer questions and give business advice. This is an opportunity to fulfil plans and move forward.
At Printing Expo, companies can invite the media to exclusive press conferences in the dedicated auditorium. For the media it’s the perfect way to keep up to date with all they need to know about the movers and the shakers in our industries without leaving the office. They can Pin the Tab on their devices, join the conferences and keep up with the latest updates anywhere, anytime!!
A light bulb moment
The organisers of Printing Expo are Resolve Business Management. Joint managing directors Wayne Becket and Chris Watson formed the company in June 2018 offering a range of marketing options and event management campaigns. Not long down the line, they had a light bulb moment and recognised the value of a 3D virtual exhibition as a perfect marketing communications platform. RBM then partnered with V-Ex Virtual Exhibitions Ltd. As many of you reading this will know, Wayne Beckett has over 30 years’ experience in the event, print and publishing sectors. Chris Watson has utilised his accountancy background in a range of roles in the printing industry including account handling and production management. A strong partnership!!
Wayne Beckett explains, “Chris and I quickly recognised that a virtual online exhibition was the logical step forward. With the fast-moving advances in technology as well as the global efforts to address climate change and the carbon footprint we recognised the potential. We wanted to create something different – an online experience that feels and looks as though it’s a visit to a live event. We wanted to create a scalable exhibition that can manage over one million visitors at any one time. We believe there is a need in our industry for a 3D immersive virtual exhibition that becomes a reliable, 365 days a year, flexible source of integrated communications and marketing opportunities where exhibitors can do business and visitors can interact with suppliers and fulfil their business needs.”
Taking a look at how an interactive online exhibition works
Printing-expo.online works in the same way as a live exhibition. The hall and the stands are rendered out to real physical dimensions. Stands are built using a combination of 3D rendering, photography and HD video. With this approach it’s possible to create photorealistic representations of existing stands or design and create a brand new stand to the exhibitor’s specification. The online exhibition has its own fully interactive auditorium that has been designed to host live and pre-recorded panel sessions, seminars and conferences. Exhibitors, conference organisers, industry associations, governing bodies and even live event organisers from around the world can contribute to produce a ‘trend driven’ content programme that can run throughout the calendar year.
Exhibitors can design and tailor their stands to their own requirements and make updates and changes at any time. As part of the exhibition and with daily global footfall guaranteed, exhibitors can have visibility of their stand traffic and are able to identify which content is most frequently opened and the content that is most popular. With an inbuilt statistics package linked to a company’s CRM via the platform’s API, exhibitors can gather visitor details as well as record the areas that have been visited and the interest shown. It’s the perfect opportunity for gathering leads 24/7. Additionally, and importantly, exhibitors can utilise their stand away from the show as their own global technical centre where they can invite customers for private functions and demonstrations and engage with them on a more personal level.
A Unique Experience
Like any live event, after registering, visitors to the show are free to navigate through the different Zones and visit each supplier’s virtual stand, view high resolution 3D equipment, watch the machines in action and attend presentations on screen where product managers and CEOs share their new innovations and technologies as well as their latest strategies. Each visitor is a VIP creating his or her own unique experience. They can download their favourite pdfs and videos and collect promotional items or order print samples from the exhibitors. Visitors can have access to a personalised dashboard where exhibitors can engage and send direct messages about updates, seminars or new features. At the show there are hotspots with a facility for visitors to email details to themselves or a colleague, share on social media and print or request further information direct from the exhibitor.
Beckett concludes, “We believe that anything virtual has to be interactive and most of all needs to be fun to visit as well as useful, which is why we have launched printing-expo.online. Our online exhibition is not designed to replace live events, but to compliment them. It’s made up from what we class as digital assets that can be used in the exhibitors own digital marketing campaigns and by the companies own sales teams around the world as online demo centres. The most exciting aspect of our show is that we have the technology and the capability to make it evolve into whatever the participants want it to be.”
This unique online exhibition has been designed on a ‘real world’ scale bringing true reality to each and every physical aspect. Printing-expo.online provides a genuine visitor experience akin to a live show with the added bonus of being able to drop in and see the show any time, any place. This format allows visitors to explore a complete virtual exhibition hall and benefit from all that a live show offers. The opportunities are limitless. Come and Join us.