Earlier this year I wrote an article on the value of Virtual Trade shows for the tourism industry. ‘Virtual’ or on-line trade shows are a low cost, highly effective and simple way to exhibit your tourism product or service, have your brochures available for download and run a short video clip of your product shown all within easy reach of your travel trade audience, without you leaving the office.
Any tourism organization that needs to get their product or services in front of a national or international audience at minimum cost without having to set up a real live trade show in one geographic location, should be looking at virtual events. With the huge increase in at-home-agents, online travel agents, travel aggregators etc. it is incredibly challenging for a national, regional or local tourism organization to get their tourism businesses in front of a geographically dispersed travel trade community.
I know you’ll be saying that ‘consumers buy direct,’ and yes that trend will continue to increase but working with the travel trade remains a significant part of the marketing mix for a substantial number of tourism suppliers. The question is how do you train the trade when it is impossible to get them all together in one place and you don’t have the budgets, or the resources, to make that happen?
Here is the answer. I think it was serendipity this morning when I opened my emails to find an invite to ‘Virtual Event User Experience’ sponsored by On24.com. ON24 is the global leader in webcasting and virtual events. This is a great opportunity for NTO’s, RTO’s and CVB’s to learn more about Virtual Trade Shows. The ‘Virtual Event’ will take place on Tuesday December 14, 8.00a – 2:00p (PST), 1600 – 2200 (GMT). Because this is a US run event the time frame may not suit everyone especially my readers in the South Pacific.
However, if this is something you have not considered or might even be remotely considering I recommend you drag your self out of bed and watch. If you are interested in what the costs are of running a Virtual Event, how to gain accessibility to a targeted global audience and, what the opportunities are to recoup or cover costs without charging every one a fortune to be involved, then you need to attend this event. All you need is a computer and a hot cup of coffee. There is no need to get out of those PJ’s.