We have written often about the virtues of virtual trade shows. So we decided to launch our own virtual conference. BtoB's Leading Edge, which focused on b-to-b lead generation for marketers, took place June 23.
I am pleased to say it was a resounding success. 1) We had more attendees than we have ever had at an in-person event or a single webinar—5,000 registrants and 2,800 attendees. 2) We made money. 3) Our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees were very happy with the experience. Our platform vendor On24, was very helpful in making the event a success.
This event was so successful that we've slated a second virtual show for this fall. BtoB's Digital Edge, focusing on digital marketing tactics, will take place Oct. 27.
Here is what we learned from our first show: Most attendees are there not just because travel budgets are tight but because they want to attend a virtual trade show. Seventy percent of our attendees had never attended one before, and they were overwhelmingly upbeat about their experience. (More than 70% rated it as excellent or very good.)
If you are in a market where you will attract attendees who are under 50 (not to be ageist, but let's face it: the younger part of our audience loves the idea of online trade shows) and can focus on middle managers in addition to some C-level executives, then this could work for you.
Of course, your advertisers and exhibitors have to be interested in lead generation. Anyone heard those two words lately?
Bob Felsenthal can be reached at email@example.com.