Use Value-added Opportunities to Increase ROI for Virtual Exhibitors

GEST 2019 attendees meet with vendors and socialize during a refreshment break.Selling exhibit booths and conference sponsorships for live events is never easy, but companies know what to expect. You had metrics to provide, such as the number of attendees and attendee demographics. There was also structure – exhibit hall hours – which they could capitalize on.

But virtual events, at this time, do not have those same metrics – you hope attendees will participate in the virtual exhibit hall, attend a sponsored  happy hour or request a one-on-one appointment. But there are no guarantees that any of these things may happen, and thus it’s natural that exhibitors may be hesitant to embrace a virtual exhibit hall.

What about incentives? Offering value-added opportunities, at minimal or no cost to your organization, will show that you recognize the commitment that exhibitors and sponsors are making to your event.

Virtual event organizers want to create a community feeling, and exhibitors and sponsors are important to the community:

  • Prior to the event: publish multiple issues of a digital preview issue that would serve multiple purposes: use it to market the event, promote registration and highlight content. Also include information on your virtual exhibit hall, including the vendor list and company listings.
    • Value-add: Free ad placement: It could be one complimentary quarter-page advertisement in one issue, or create a Product & Services showcase in the preview issues – the number of listings per company would depend on sponsorship levels. If they feel the ad placements were beneficial, they may in turn invest in paid ads in the conference issues.
  • During the event: Produce a digital newspaper, published daily during the conference, to showcase conference content and news, promote the virtual exhibit hall and
    • Value-add: Case studies: Invite each exhibitor to submit one case study, up to 600 words, with one image, for complimentary publication in one issue.

In prior years, you may have charged for these placements. But this is a different year – extending offers like these will show your exhibitors and sponsors that you want them to have a successful experience during your virtual conference. And that means creating opportunities for companies to generate quantifiable leads.

Interested in learning more about CustomNEWS’ digital publishing services? Contact us at


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