PROPANE CANADA (MAY-JUNE 2020)
WITH THE CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN AND ENSUING CONCERNS, WE EITHER COULD NOT GO TO (OR DID NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE GOING TO) ASSOCIATION MEETINGS, EXPOS, TRADE SHOWS, OR TRAINING EVENTS. OUR PROPANE INDUSTRY RELIES ON THESE EVENTS TO EDUCATE, INFORM, CONNECT, AND TRANSACT. THESE “LIVE,” “IN PERSON” EVENTS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF OUR INDUSTRY FOR PROPANE MARKETERS AND FOR PROPANE SUPPLIERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS.
So, is there an alternative? Surprisingly, there is in the form of the VirtualPropaneExpo. com, but what is it and how can it help our industry? A virtual trade show (aka virtual expo) is a cross between an online webcast meeting and Amazon’s marketplace. It’s the next big trend in trade shows. With the coronavirus, it has just received a big shot in the arm. Prior to 2020, a mere 20 per-cent of all trade shows were online. Due to the recent pandemic ALL trade shows had a choice to close or go to a virtual platform. In 2020 and beyond, it is projected that over 60 per cent of all trade shows will become virtual or blend a hybrid of virtual and physical. Fortunately, this is great news for you if you understand how to make the most of them.
Like online meetings, a virtual expo can be a simple and easy way to view a series of vendour booths and presentations, quickly and easily. In them you can check out company brochures, videos, and connect directly with the vendors of your
choosing — without feeling any high-pressure sales or the rushed feeling due to limited time to visit all the booths and hear the speakers.
Why bother with these virtual expos when face-to-face meetings are so much more satisfying and real? In addition to the fact that there are not many good alternative choices since many expos have closed for this year, it’s also because virtual expos offer some solid advantages.
An online expo can now be bigger, accommodate more attendees and vendors than ever before, yet do so with almost Zero Travel emissions. Our propane fuel is impressively green and now our expos can be too!
4. Follow the lead — Traditional trade shows often generate exciting leads. Unfortunately, 80 per cent of those leads are never followed up — a statistic bound to discourage the most enthusiastic marketing professional. The reasons are myriad: disconnects between marketing and sales, the difficulties of reading hand-scribbled names and addresses, the
overwhelming time and work associated with traveling to and tedium of entering contact info by hand into databases, or the from, plus setting up, managing, and closing down an expo, in the midst of an already frantic schedule.