Virtual Aussie trade show heading for 10,000 visitors
Organisers of the world's first virtual trade exhibition, the Australian Print, Sign, Display & Graphics Virtual Trade Show, say strong visitor numbers and resulting sales bodes well for business sentiment into the new financial year.
The virtual trade show passed another milestone last week, speeding past it’s 8000th visit just five weeks after opening. The organiser said the constant stream of traffic continues apace, with 10,000 visits now firmly on the horizon.
With exhibitors across the board reporting positive flow-ons, genuine leads and some early sales, driven by participation in the show, indications are that businesses are genuinely planning for the future.
Unsurprisingly, EOFY activity drove a surge of activity towards the end of June but, with the asset write-off, in particular, set to continue until Christmas, there’s no sign yet that businesses have put their deliberations on hold.
Ben Eaton, CEO of Starleaton, reported an uptick in activity and enquiries, particularly related to the Zund cutters which featured at the show, saying it had "absolutely" contributed to the company’s sales pipeline, while Luke Wooldridge from Fujifilm also reported strong interest in "show specials".
So, is it as good as a physical trade show? Kelly Tam from Epson said it’s difficult to compare an online show with the "face-to-face" interaction available at a traditional trade show but, like many others, she said Epson has seen a noticeable lift in enquiries, especially immediately after launch, and has validated those as genuine leads.
Ian Parsonson from Hexis reported strong activity and sales right from the start of the show, with a particularly good response to show specials, as did Michael Smith from Eurotech, who said the virtual show was a welcome initiative. “It’s good to see the trade thinking in terms of innovation,” he said
With the show set to run until the end of September, the story is far from over. Exhibitors continue to refresh their content and offers regularly to keep interest levels up, and new seminar and workshop sessions are to be launched every couple of weeks.
Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper said the long-term strategy was quite deliberate in the face of a rapidly changing economic and regulatory environment and uncertainty around the pandemic itself.
“Together with our exhibitors, who have their finger closely on the pulse of the industry, we took the view that any resource we created had to be available in the longer term – so businesses could come back, time and again as their circumstances dictated, to find solutions to help them recover, rebuild, and create new opportunities into the future,” he said.