Hosting An Engaging Virtual Talk At A Trade Show: 9 Top Tips  

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If you’ve been selected for a virtual talk slot in a virtual trade show, there is a lot to do in preparation. You should approach virtual events and trade shows with the same enthusiasm and dedication as you would for physical events and put just as much preparation into them.  

A virtual trade show can present unique challenges for those any industry, as it can be harder to perform demonstrations and engage listeners. Physical events are often better attended and enjoy heightened attendee engagement, so as the host of a virtual talk, it is up to you to ensure your audience leaves the talk feeling motivated.  

Provide Demonstrations 

Many people feel that virtual events lack the physical and interactive elements that make traditional trade shows unique. Providing demonstrations can be a great way to overcome this criticism and help your audience engage even better with your talk. In fact, hosting a virtual demonstration may be even more effective than in-person demos, as each attendee will have a front-row seat to watch what you’re doing on their screens.  

You’ll need the right tools and equipment for an effective virtual demo, and you should set everything up before your talk. Consider investing in a high-quality camera rather than using your webcam, which may provide lower-quality images to your viewers. You will also need excellent lighting and a neutral backdrop so the audience can see what you’re doing.  

Understand What Your Audience Wants 

The first step with any talk is to understand the wants and needs of the audience. This will depend largely on the specifics of the trade show and the requests of the organizer. For instance, you will need to provide very different talks if your audience are beginner horticulturalists compared to if they are seasoned professional programmers. In addition, you’ll need to prepare for a range of knowledge sets within your audience.  

Choose A Unique Background 

It is crucial to stand out in your attendees’ minds so that they remember your talk and are more likely to follow up with you afterwards. One simple way to improve the chances of being remembered – aside from hosting a compelling talk – is to have a background that makes you and your talk memorable. This should be something that isn’t overly busy that will distract from your talk, but that will make attendees notice you.  

Use Some The Golden Rules Of Virtual Meetings 

A trade show talk is different to your typical virtual meeting, but many of the golden rules remain the same. Following these rules can help ensure that you and your attendees have the best possible experience. If you’re not familiar with virtual meetings, you can find out more about some of the critical etiquette and tips for success using this virtual meeting resource from the experts at Anchor AI.  

Encourage Attendees To Leave Cameras On 

When attending virtual events, it can be tempting for your audience to turn their cameras off while you speak. There are plenty of reasons an audience member might want to do that, from worrying about the appearance of their backgrounds to doing household chores while they listen in. 

One great way to make your talk more engaging is by encouraging the use of cameras throughout. This can help you get an idea of how well your talk is being received and encourage attendees to focus fully on you and your words.  

Stay In Touch With The Event’s Organizers 

The organizers of the event are key contacts for you throughout your preparation, duration and follow-up to your talk. They will be able to provide help and technical support if you need it throughout your talk. You should ensure you know who your contact is at the event and have their work number and email address for ease of contact.  

Record Your Talk 

Recording your talk can be a great option, allowing you to utilize the talk in the future. For instance, if there are people who had hoped to attend but were unable to. You should check with the rules of the trade show to ensure that recording your talk is permitted and negotiate with trade show officials if it is not.  

Allow Time For Questions 

No talk would be complete without questions, so you should build some time in at the end to give your attendees a chance to ask anything they want. Consider instructing attendees to ask questions at the end of the talk in the call’s description. You could use the chat function to receive guests’ questions or ask everyone who wants to ask something to turn their cameras on.  

Follow Up With Attendees 

It is a good idea to send out a follow-up email or other contact to attendees of your talk. You could ask for contact details when they arrive at your talk and get permission to follow up after the trade show. This can be a great way to network and build up business among attendees.