How Four Brands Transformed Trade Show Environments into Virtual Experiences

Strategies from virtual reality demos to 360-degree immersions

When COVID-19 first started wreaking havoc on the event industry, trade shows were among the biggest casualties. Exhibitors across the globe found themselves stranded with all kinds of content and engagements, and nowhere to utilize them, and no solution to collect leads. But many teams quickly pivoted, opting to present their offerings the only way they could—digitally. And so the virtual trade show booth trend took hold, yielding promising results. Here, we present four examples of virtual booth experiences that offer tricks of the (digital) trade.  

nutanix teaserMore Trade Show Coverage:

alibaba_group_credit_infinity_trade-showALIBABA GROUP

Alibaba Group created a Virtual Brand Experience Center on the Virtuosity platform (Infinity Marketing Team handled) that offered attendees a 3D walkthrough of its famous brand experience centers. On the tour, attendees could access six different virtual areas that offered multimedia presentations of Alibaba Cloud corporate history alongside interactive 3D and VR demos of products and services. Attendees were able to view the experience through their web browser or click over into VR mode and view it through a headset.


fitbit_photo-credit-on24-site_trade-showWhen Fitbit learned that one of its most important trade shows of the year was canceled with just one week’s notice, the brand turned its in-person trade show booth experience into a virtual one on a dime. The resulting digital booth was designed for HR professionals to enter at their own pace within a two-hour window to learn about Fitbit, ask questions and ultimately schedule meetings with the sales team. Among the key booth elements: creative imagery repurposed from the in-person booth experience, swag giveaways in exchange for a 15-minute call with a Fitbit expert and descriptive speaker bios that offered specific details on the types of questions they could help answer. Ultimately, more than 150 prospects registered for the virtual booth experience, while there were more than 40 requests for a meeting with a Fitbit sales representative.


gigabyte_-trade-showWhen MWC Barcelona was canceled, it served as the first major event to shut down as a result of the virus, leaving scores of exhibitors high and dry. Making the most of it, would-be exhibitor GIGABYTE brought its exhibition online, giving partners, customers and users a chance to see its latest developments for the 5G era by offering a clickable digital tour of its MWC booth build. As part of the experience, the brand also filmed short snippets of marketing and product experts providing insights and sharing perspectives. From 360-degree immersions to smart city simulations, the virtual booth experience offered a smart mix of education and engagement.

power_integrations_trade-showPOWER INTEGRATIONS

When organizers canceled the 2020 APEC global conference in Louisiana, exhibitor Power Integrations needed to find a new way to showcase its latest innovations in power electronics to customers. The answer was a virtual booth experience that offered technical insights and product demos originally planned for APEC, as well as on-demand technical sessions in which senior members of the Power Integrations team broke down the presentations they had prepared for the show. An introductory video helped introduce customers to the virtual booth concept, making the experience easier to navigate.

Photo credit: Alibaba/Infinity Marketing Team; Fitbit/On24;;


This story appeared in the June 2020 issue
Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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