What to Do When A Trade Show is Cancelled? Try Going Live

Laura Boggs

For companies that rely on industry events, expos and trade shows to connect with their key audiences, there is a void being created as those events get cancelled around the world. As these brands find their ability to directly connect and communicate with wholesale buyers or individual consumers limited, they need to be innovating new ways to reach their audiences. Luckily, technology companies most brands use every day already have functionality that can help overcome this gap: live streams. In fact, the recommendations below may allow brands to create an even more immersive experience for their customers than trade shows enable. Most major social media platforms from Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to Twitter and TikTok have a live mode, which allows you to broadcast live to your audience through the app.
Your audience has the ability to submit questions and comments in real-time, creating an interactive experience not unlike a traditional trade show floor experience. If your brand has been looking for a way to get customers onsite to see how products are created, produced, grown, or packaged, live streams could be the tool you’ve been looking for. Coupled with the current stay-at-home measures in place around the world and the increased demand it has created for digital content, the opportunity is there for the taking. The best part is it can be done from the palm of your hand. While we would typically recommend brands up the production quality of their live streams a bit (streaming through an ethernet-connected device to prevent lag, using a professional camera to get the best image quality, and having a community manager on hand to address questions as they come in), shooting these in selfie mode is more than acceptable right now. As late night hosts and politicians broadcast from home, consumers are getting increasingly used to the production quality inherent in filming outside of a studio. Most apps simply require a viewer to have an account to watch a live stream and they don’t limit the number of attendees, questions, or comments that can be submitted during a live event. But before logging on, here a few things to consider to produce the best content you can. Also, if your brand is totally new to live streams, start with the platform you’re most comfortable on. For many brands, that means Facebook. There are several outlets that share Facebook Live How-To’s; this how-to video from Hubspot is a great start. So, if you’ve had to cancel your upcoming trade show, consider going live on social media to hold a virtual event. If this is your first time producing a live stream on your social media channel, you may be wondering how to host a virtual trade show. Below, we outline 5 tips to make your virtual trade show and social media live stream successful.

Contact Saltwater to learn how we can help with your social media needs.

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