Conference and tradeshow organizers are hardly innovation pioneers, yet when the choice is either stick to old methods and die or adopt new technologies to survive another day they tend to choose the latter. Low attendance rate plague the the convention industry forever stuck in recession. Here comes emerging virtual conference & tradeshow market on the wave of game changing and leveraging technologies.
Inside the immaculate virtual 3d spaces, avatars visit trade show booths, attend live webcasts and interact with each other in chat rooms. They can download product sheets, presentations, and videos without waiting for busy receptionist or napping through boring keynote speech. The booths are staffed by always friendly vendor reps. Translation chat application can always be called on to help. Visitor’s behavior is tracked, analyzed and visualized. No airport security hassle, no visa hassle, no carbon footprint, actually no travel at all. This picture looks like a poster theme of a corporate brochure “Corporate Responsibility in an Environmentally Conscious World”.
What is wrong with this pastoral picture? Technically, it’s already feasible. The only thing wrong is misperception that this rosy picture creates: virtual events are here to replace completely the physical ones. One of the key findings of the new market research study is that the virtual technology will change the way we think about conferences and trade shows, it will enrich, enhance and complement physical events considerably rather than to compete with them directly. The virtual event market will grow from $14 Bln in 2018 to $18 Bln in 2023, with growth rate of 5%, reflecting maturity and commoditization of the virtual event marketplace, says the report. Corporate virtual events are already all rage in the market and immersive multimedia exhibitions enhanced with virtual reality (VR) technology is the next big thing combining elements of event management, edutech and entertainment.