The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly changed the way many companies and brands seek exposure. So what does the future hold for the traditional physical exhibition?

All companies, large and small, require good publicity and exposure to grow their brand. Over the decades, even centuries, businesses have tapped into the power of exhibitions to gain credibility, and make their voices heard. By attending a show or exhibition, a company will increase their chances of securing new customers or clients, who in turn will pass on the message via word of mouth.

This is how a company wins new business in a competitive world. Regardless of product, or its quality, exhibitions are the perfect way to increase brand awareness. However, and especially because of the pandemic, the world of exhibitions is changing fast. With the events’ industry badly hit by Covid, the traditional form of physical exhibition may soon become a thing of the past – although not completely extinct just yet.

Thanks to advances in technology, there are many different ways for companies to increase their exposure and brand awareness. Physical exhibitions will probably re-start in early autumn and this remains a great way to participate in face-to-face networking. Yet, despite the speed of the UK’s vaccination programme, there is still likely to be a number of restrictions in place when exhibitions resume. Many businesses will want to continue participating in virtual events, as a means for getting their message heard.

This method has certainly gained in popularity in recent months. It is the ideal way for a company to showcase what they have to offer. It provides potential clients with an easier route for accessing information, while expenditure is considerably reduced for all attendees – regardless of which side of the fence they belong. It is somewhat easier and cheaper for both ‘seller’ and ‘buyer’ who can remain in the comfort of their own home or office.

So, with physical exhibitions losing its edge, what does their future look like? Since March 2020, ‘virtual’ has become the order of the day, whether it is a board meeting, an awards ceremony, promotion event or even a quiz. The internet has become even more important to our everyday lives, as we go online to conduct various tasks, such as food shopping, purchasing clothes or simply connecting with friends.

It is also the perfect way to research work or business opportunities, and for the purpose of this particular online publication, can most definitely be used to check out franchising matters.

For the owners and chief executives of franchise companies, exhibitions have usually been the ideal vehicle for attracting new business partners. Where better to sign up a budding franchisee than at an exhibition especially organised for this sector?

Yet nowadays, thanks to mobile phones, tablets and laptops, there are many more ways to achieve this, than by simply attending a physical exhibition. There’s a brand new ‘toy’ in town and it’s called ‘virtual’. There are many new ways for researching and gathering information. The internet has made life more flexible.

Just as 9-to-5 may soon become a thing of the past – or at least amended to suit people’s needs – so the landscape of exhibitions is changing too.

Taking the virtual route can satisfy a company’s needs in so many different ways:

  • Maintain exposure and brand awareness;
  • A less complicated and less stressful way to get your message across;
  • Easier to display important content and information (using documents, diagrams and images);
  • A more flexible way to amend content as business, products and methods evolve;
  • Less costly, and much of the time completely free;
  • Available to a global network, 24-7;
  • A superb community platform for exhibitors to update blogs and company data;
  • A seminar friendly medium;
  • More environmentally friendly, as attendees no longer have to use trains, planes or cars just to show a face.

The physical exhibition may not be completely dead just yet, but the virtual world is changing fast and becoming a serious rival. It is user-friendly, flexible, more easily accessible and less stressful – and truly cost-effective.

Virtual is the platform of the future when it comes to increasing brand awareness.

This post was written by Katie Bateman of FranchiseShow247 and VirtualExpo247. This post was also shared on Elite Franchise here.