A virtual trade show has to be more cost effective, time efficient and highly targeted for both exhibitors and attendees. Sure enough Sony says: "...the virtual trade cost less than 50 percent of a real world event, not to mention that most of the virtual trade show material can be reused."
I'm certain we'll be seeing more of these events in the future. So here's the list of things I'll miss about being an exhibitor at real world trade shows:
- Carpet rentals
- 30+ minute waits for a taxi at the Javits, Moscone, or LVCC
- Fifteen dollar hamburgers at concession stands
- Hunting the show floor for a "big kahuna" customer
- Traveling with a trade show booth...as airline baggage
- Arriving to the show/conference and discovering that new booth signage with the new branding was forgotten back at the office
- Checking out attendee badges without being obvious
- Crashing a corporate suite party without an invite and meeting the "big kahuna" customer
- Booth tear down after 7 straight hours of booth duty, then missing your flight home because of long lines at the official shippers office
- Handing out materials, and discussions with hundreds, if not thousands of people. People who will never be a customer. Then discovering the result of the show is 5 qualified prospects after 3 days.
But the one thing I'm really going to miss the most is the Gospel Brunch at the House of the Blues in Las Vegas.