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Top Lead Generation Ideas for Virtual Trade Shows

The event industry looks significantly different from the picture just a year ago. Meetings and interactions take place behind screens, organisers can reach out to a more global audience and innovative event technology has found greater traction among businesses. 

While experts ponder over the value provided by virtual events, the goals for stakeholders remain the same. Exhibitors and sponsors are still looking to increase their brand awareness, retain customers, generate leads and increase sales.

At online events like virtual trade shows, capturing high-quality leads is a key indicator of a successful event for exhibitors. The more qualified the leads, the better the chances of converting them.

Beyond the conventional suggestions of one-to-one meetings and post-event follow-ups, there are other effective lead-generation strategies for virtual trade shows. Here is a selection a handful of them below:

#1 Creating an AI-powered marketplace

Thousands of products are showcased at virtual trade shows. An online marketplace using AI-powered matchmaking to connect users to relevant products (similar to Amazon) can help drive more targeted buyers towards a business. creating an ai powered marketplaceBy creating an environment that serves the transactional and distribution needs of the community, exhibitors can get e-referrals that can be nurtured into potential leads e.g. buyers who liked or purchased a particular set of products. This can be extended to communities at similar events you may run, building leads across brands.

#2 Customised exhibitor profiles and booths

A virtual 3D booth designed to recreate an actual, physical exhibit makes your brand stand out to the attendee. customised exhibitor profiles and boothsYou can include pre-recorded videos, presentations, brochures and features like live chat and product demos to engage attendees, providing enough data to capture and track potential leads. As part of certain exhibitor packages, you can make your exhibit visible to attendees even before the event begins, attracting more business. 

#3 Pre-event engagement in community groups

Many event organisers employ a community-driven approach to increase awareness around their virtual events. pre event engagement in community groupsThese communities, created on social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook or on dedicated event portals, provide pre- and post-event access to participants. You can keep the community engaged in different ways and if your content interests enough people, you will already have a list of pre-qualified leads before the event is underway.

#4 Sponsorship options with analytics

Data-driven sponsorship at virtual trade shows helps you measure the performance of digital ads, banners and videos, enabling you to analyse engagement statistics.sponsorship options with analytics The business intelligence you gather through various sponsorship strategies ultimately enables you to plan your post-event follow-up, and drives highly qualified leads.

#5 Remarketing

Attendees who show some meaningful interest in the virtual booths, products or content but get distracted and aren’t able to engage further can be retargeted through paid remarketing services.remarketing This allows exhibitors to reach out to more pre-qualified prospects, nurture these leads and push them to sales.


Virtual trade shows were initially met with skepticism from exhibitors and sponsors, who were doubtful of the value they could provide. While the immersive experience of an in-person trade show remains unmatched, the low-cost high-return proposition of virtual trade shows has made them acceptable alternatives for those looking for quality leads with a moderate investment.