Virtual events have been growing in popularity over the past few years with event organizers seeing the value in moving to an online event because of reduced overhead costs and a wider audience reach.
Video conferencing platforms make hosting a hybrid event or virtual conference easy, but what about virtual expos? How can you take an event online that relies so heavily on direct interaction between the attendee and exhibitor at a booth space?
Fortunately, there are a handful of virtual event software tools and platforms that are equipped to help you shift your trade show or expo to a digital environment without sacrificing value for the attendee or the exhibitors!
*Please note that the following platforms are listed in alphabetical order, this does not represent a rank. The authors of this post are affiliated with Accelevents.
Summary: Accelevents is an events platform created by event planners. As such, it is robust and intuitive with a range of features that are ideal for virtual events. This platform includes live streaming capabilities (with built-in production tools) and real-time analytics to help you manage all elements of your virtual expo.
Exhibitors can customize the branding on their virtual booths and a virtual lobby, coupled with live chat options, allows for excellent networking opportunities.
Accelevents makes it easy to keep in touch with registered attendees through several CRM, social media, and email marketing integrations.
Features: Attendee Management, Virtual Lobby, Reporting/Analytics, Lead Generation, Online Registration, Customizable Branding, Real-Time Chat, Live Streaming, Exhibitor/Vendor Management Capterra Rating: 4.7/5
Summary: If you are looking to provide an experience that looks like a live expo or trade show, Communiqué is the platform for you. With a customizable 3-D environment, attendees can navigate the show floor just like they would in person. Chat features allow for group conversation as well as one-on-one chat. In the customizable virtual lobby, hosts can greet attendees with a short video before they move on to the Theater, Exhibit Hall, Resource Center, or Communications Lounge.Attendees can use the exhibitor directory to locate specific virtual booths or find booths based on a number of search criteria. Exhibitors can set up their virtual booth by choosing from dozens of templates or upload their own custom design. Reps attending the virtual expo will receive an alert when someone enters their booth and they can communicate with their visitor through a live group chat, private 1:1 chat, or video. Features: Customizable Branding, Reporting/Analytics, Online Registration, Real-Time Chat Capterra Rating: Not Available
Summary: Hexafair is one of the most popular platforms available for virtual expos, trade shows, or summits. This platform’s 3-D technology allows attendees to explore virtual exhibit booths in a very realistic way. They are able to view detailed information on products and services, view images, pick up handouts and brochures, watch pre-recorded product demos, and chat with the exhibitor. Hexafair includes an attendee director allowing them to see who is currently online, request a virtual meeting, swap virtual business cards, or set up video conferencing calls. These networking capabilities can help event organizers connect attendees to one another and boost their overall event experience and satisfaction. With several software integrations, this virtual platform can help planners and promoters scale the event and reach a wider target audience. Features: Exhibit/Vendor Management, Ticketing, Social Media Promotion, Surveys/Feedback Capterra Rating: Not Available
Summary: INXPO is a well-known name in the events industry. If keynote addresses, presentations, and live product demos are a large part of your virtual expo, the high-quality video streaming and webcasting capabilities of INXPO will come in handy. These videos can be viewed lived or watched on-demand after the fact. As a video platform with a virtual lobby and virtual theatre, this platform attempts to recreate the experience of a live expo as much as possible. With a comprehensive list of exhibitors, attendees can scroll to find booths they are interested in and then simply click to visit. Once at the virtual booth, they can interact with the staff and schedule product demos. Features: Live Streaming, Real-Time Chat, Virtual Lobby, Lead Generation, Survey/Poll Management, Customizable Branding, Reporting/Analytics Capterra Rating: 4.8/5
Summary: Sometimes virtual event platforms fall short when attempting to deliver on the attendee experience. vFairs is not one of those platforms. The customizable exhibit booths look just like they would at a physical event. With on-demand video and presentations that can be viewed there, or downloaded for later, attendees can absorb exhibit information and make decisions about products or services in their own time. Real-time text, audio, and video chat features make it easy for attendees to speak with exhibitors and the e-commerce integrations allow attendees to purchase products on the spot. Features: Attendee Management, Customizable Branding, Live Streaming, Real-Time Chat, Virtual Lobby, Lead Generation, Survey/Poll Management, Reporting/Analytics, Online Registration Capterra Rating: 4.8/5