The Challenge of Virtualizing Trade Shows and Exhibit Halls
I have specially chosen this article because Tormohlen (2021) has brilliantly discussed the different challenges that organizers and exhibitors have to face while bringing their events and exhibition online along with elaborating the different strategies and tools that can be used to effectively cope with them. In this regard, she has made many references from different industry professionals consistently to present their viewpoints on the current situations and the future outlook of the exhibition industry. In this way, she has discussed the most fundamental questions regarding the innovative and practical approaches to incorporate virtual exhibitions, collaboration, and engagement among attendees, and the pricing of participation and overall cost of the events. According to the writer, the exhibitors do not need to build infrastructure for the people to invite them online as the technology has already penetrated in most of the countries and it is easily accessible to people. So, the actual need is to devise creative ways for the effective engagement of the participants. Moreover, the resources required for the online exhibition are significantly less than the in-person events, although they do not generate enough revenue. But under the critical situation of the pandemic, the only possibility that organizers and event professionals can work on is promoting online exhibitions in the most innovative ways.
In this regard, they can offer various new ways such as demos, education theaters, and chat functionality to participants to engage with themselves and have the feel of in-person events. However, to implement all this, what is primarily required from the exhibitors is a different mindset. According to the writer, they need to understand that online events are not just the replication of the in-person events, instead, more creative approaches are needed that ensure the optimum use of the different online tools. They should also consider that with the online exhibition they can access a relatively large audience and thus generate more revenue.
PERSONAL REVIEW OF THE ARTICLE
The article has provided me a great insight into how industry leaders are addressing the challenges of online exhibitions and events. What I think is that with globalization and digitalization, the online meetings and events were a definite outcome. And the Covid-19 has just accelerated this revolution in the organization of meetings and events. Thus, we need to adopt new technologies instead of just waiting for a better situation and restart all the activities in the same way as they were before Covid-19. It does not mean that we should compromise on the essential elements of the meetings and exhibitions such as the effective communication and collaboration between attendees rather we need to innovate our approaches to ensure that they are incorporated in the same manner as they are incorporated in live events. In this regard, the article has very clearly described the different challenges that event organizers and exhibitors can face and has provided direct references to the experiences of different organizations and the thoughts of the industry professionals.
These references I think are very valuable for both organizers as well as the participants to formulate their expectations with the online events. This is the only way they can effectively deal with the different challenges and problems that can hinder the successful execution of the events and exhibitions. Another important element that has been highlighted in the article is the role of technology that is already playing in the lives of people and just like many other fields where technology has replaced the conventional means, the exhibitions also have the potential to be presented online without losing their effectiveness. And this is quite evident from the talks of the industry’s most renowned professionals. However, this does not mean that the in-person exhibition will be avoided all the time. They surely have their charm but is the responsibility of the exhibitors and organizers to utilize the ways that best satisfy the purpose.
Tormohlen, D. (2021, February 1). The Challenge of Virtualizing Trade Shows and Exhibit Halls. PCMA. https://www.pcma.org/challenge-virtual-trade-shows-exhibit-halls/