We are so excited to launch our latest newsletter series:
The Experienced Exhibitor.

For the last ten years, we (Ann and Sarah) have been immersed in the podiatric space - spending countless weekends in your shoes... on the exhibit hall floor.

We created PodiatryMeetings.com with the goal to serve the industry. This is one way we are doing that - by giving you all the information and resources we can so we can all put our best foot forward.

Everyone reading this newsletter has different levels of meeting experience. Wherever you are in your tradeshow journey, our goal is to help you think differently.... think positively.... and reignite your meeting motivation!

Our first edition provides featured content including:
  • Strategies for a positive virtual show mindset
  • Managing virtual show sales expectations
  • Budgeting for virtual conferences
  • Virtual/hybrid show exhibitor stats
February 2021
Your Guide to Maximizing Virtual and/or Hybrid Events
Mindset Buzz
Pardon us while we get a bit touchy-feely for a moment...

We have been on the tradeshow floor at podiatry meetings for over 10 years. Between the both of us, we’ve attended almost every conference available, many multiple times.

We get it; we know exactly what it’s like between breaks when the exhibit hall is so quiet you can hear a pin drop and you’re counting down the next two hours until the break. Then, sometimes the break doesn’t deliver quite the swarm of docs throwing their money at you like you imagined they would - bummer.

The long hours and the lack of engagement can often lead to a feeling of disappointment or boredom. Pretty soon you find yourself chatting with your booth neighbor or your fellow exhibitor friend to pass the time.

Here’s the key – avoid letting your conversations with fellow exhibitors turn into a gripe session.

We Need Your Voice
Continue to Make Meetings Progress by Sharing Your Feedback
Bonus! Take a meeting survey and we'll send you a super duper cool gift!
Sales Buzz
By now, almost every exhibitor has had the opportunity to participate in a virtual exhibit hall event. There is no question they don’t deliver leads and sales the same way an in-person, traditional event does. Still, there is a lot of value in the data we capture at virtual events.

As exhibitors, we have a responsibility to recognize that things are different and that we need to manage expectations when exhibiting virtually.

Don't get us wrong, this doesn't mean that we should accept failure. We have to recognize that the process is very different and many of the benefits you acquire from a face-to-face meeting simply can't be replaced virtually.

PodiatryMeetings.com has had the privilege of creating our own virtual exhibit event, and we partnered with an organization to host the virtual exhibit hall for its annual meeting.

In addition, we’ve had endless conversations with meeting planners about their own events and challenges. Through this experience and our conversations, we’ve learned that for virtual events, about 40% of registered attendees will actively engage in the virtual exhibit hall. This data can help you plan accordingly when you are calculating your goals and expected sales for the event.

Read the rest of this article for our tips on how to increase your success at virtual events.

Guest Exhibitor Buzz
Provided by Experienced Exhibitor:
Nick Adkins, Forward Motion Medical
“With last year behind us, we exhibitors need to be prepared for conferences that are ahead. Because of the uncertainty the coronavirus has forced us all face this past year, trade shows have become even more intimidating than they ever have.

There is one big step that may help your exhibitor experience. Be sure to always incentivize your target audience in order to drive traffic to your booth. Before trade shows, that was as simple as putting up a display, or even a bowl of candy at your physical booth, but now that we have to deal with virtual booths things have changed. Hopefully the virtual event has set up incentives that also help drive traffic to your virtual booth, however many virtual portals are little more than an email with more steps.

Needless to say, it is important that your company finds an appropriate way to incentivize your audience. Some ways to incentivize could be a sale special that can only be taken advantage of during the trade show. Another way to incentivize would be to set up prizes for the potentials who do interact with your booth.

You must be wondering, how do we inform our target audience of the incentives. That can be as simple as posting it on social media, or as complex as sending out a physical mailer to the offices of your audience.

Although we do not know whether this next year will be better or worse, we now have the experience to face the worst.”
Marketing Buzz
In this era of virtual and hybrid events, exhibitors are spending fewer dollars to participate in trade shows. We have little-to-no travel, shipping, or furniture display costs. Eventually, when on-site shows are more of the norm, we will be allotting dollars for these costs again... but for the time being you can use your saved dollars to attend more virtual shows and experience new events that you normally wouldn't have the budget for.

This is an exciting time to try new things because each event brings a new audience, giving you "new blood" to expose your brand to.

Michael Friedman of Redi-Thotics wrote an article for us (pre-COVID) about how he considers trade show expenses as advertising expenses, same as a print or online ad. Click here to check it out.

Like any online marketing, one of the best differences is that with virtual trade shows, you can actually see how many people you talked to (clicks). Keeping track of hard data like that is more difficult face-to-face. Obviously, there are a lot of pros to on-site marketing, but it is just as important to realize the value of different types of data from virtual events.

Now more than ever, exhibitors must be everywhere to maximize exposure and relevance to ensure you stay top of mind when podiatrists are ready to place their orders.
Survey Survey Survey!!
Really just a short quick poll... take the poll, get a gift!

We want to know... during a virtual event, other than an organic qualified lead.... what attendee data is most valuable to you?
Choose one of the options below:
DPM Email Addresses
DPM Mailing Addresses
DPM Phone Number
Stats Buzz
We recently had the opportunity to design and implement the Virtual Exhibit Hall for the Florida Podiatric Medical Association’s SAM2021 conference. After the event, we took some time to review all data from the event, including how the number of average leads per company was impacted by a few different factors.

We found this data to be especially interesting and believe it will help you, our exhibitor friends, to have more positive experiences while participating in virtual or hybrid events.
Virtual Only vs.
Virtual Plus In-Person
Exhibitors that participated with both an in-person (on-site) booth AND a virtual booth had 32% more leads on average than those that only participated in the virtual exhibit hall.

This shows that the presence on the trade show floor impacted the likelihood of on-site attendees to click on and interact with the virtual booth of that company.

This could speak to the mind's propensity to recognize a brand based on repeat visibility (frequency of impressions).
Bingo Prize Giveaway vs.
No Bingo Prize
At SAM21, all virtual exhibitors had the option to offer a Bingo prize inside their virtual booth.

Some exhibitors were unable to participate in prize giveaways based on healthcare regulations and others simply chose not to participate for their own reasons. Those that couldn't were encouraged to think outside the box for a different type of Bingo offer.

Exhibitors that offered a Bingo prize saw 46% more leads on average than those that did not.
Sponsor vs. Non-Sponsor
At SAM, “Sponsors” were listed at the top of the exhibit hall webpage, in order of their sponsorship level. Below the sponsor listings, all exhibitors were listed in alphabetical order, including a repeat of the sponsor companies. So, sponsors had two advantages:

  1. they were listed at the top of the webpage
  2. They were listed twice on the page.

It’s often hard to assess if your sponsorship was worth the investment in terms of the number of leads, sales, or impressions. In this case, we saw that sponsors had 24% more leads than non-sponsors. Consider this the next time you are looking over sponsorship opportunities, especially in this virtual or hybrid environment. If a sponsorship virtually is more budget-friendly than a sponsorship on-site, it just may be worth the additional expense!
Custom Booth vs.
Simple Booth
When we (PodiatryMeetings.com) host a virtual exhibit hall, the design play comes in a big way.

We strongly encourage our exhibitors, and assist them with, designing a truly custom booth that aligns with their brand, as well as their marketing and sales goals.

From time to time, a company may choose instead to go with a “simple” booth. In this case, a “simple” booth consisted of a logo formatted to take on the look of a booth backdrop.

There are many reasons why a company may choose a “simple” booth; most often the reason is that the exhibitor ran out of time due to miscommunication within the company, an oversight within the company, or some unforeseeable circumstance including unexpected medical leave.

At PodiatryMeetings.com, we always offer our exhibitors our design services for their booth so they can put their best “foot” forward. Our data shows that having a custom, visually appealing virtual booth design results in 56% more leads than a simple booth.
The Bottom Line
When you evaluate an event post-show, be honest about your effort compared to other exhibitors. When you participate, check out other virtual booths for ideas for improvement next time. Take full advantage of every feature to truly maximize your return and experience.

Plan 3-6 Months In Advance
No More Last Minute Decisions! Effective Shows Take Time to Plan. Use Our Calendar to Make Your Calendar.
Travel Buzz
Effective January 26, 2021, the CDC will require all air passengers entering the United States (including US citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.

Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. Read more on the CDC’s website.

Who’s excited about the prospect of attending the ACFAS Conference in Las Vegas in May?!

When you start making your travel plans, be sure to check out our webpage for Travel Tips for Las Vegas.
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