The U.S. Green Building Council’s GreenBuild conference and expo is a month- and-a-half away, with an anticipated 25,000 participants and over 1,000 exhibiting companies. Do you have your tickets bought, travel booked, and plans in place? Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this year, numerous people will travel cross-country to hear the latest on green building and view the newest products to support it. But is this the greenest way to accomplish sustainable construction objectives?
Physical trade shows are no longer the only answer to bringing together communities to share information, see new products, and collaborate on the latest trends and ideas. More companies are turning to Web-based technology for an economical, effective, and carbon-saving alternative.
Online meeting resources such as GoToMeeting.com or Vcall.com provide the tools to bring people together from across the world – providing an alternative to in-person meetings or presentations. As an agency with clients in several states, online meetings have not only saved us time and money, but also allow us to talk through a project more often, saving our clients precious marketing dollars.
Another emerging trend is the virtual trade show (VTS). A VTS enables exhibitors to post information about their products in a tradeshow-like Web environment, participate in social media activities, and interact with visitors through one-on-one and group chat options. And, all participants can access the show from their desk, so they can attend at any time from anywhere. In one VTS earlier in the year, an exhibitor had as many as 55 visitors at one time in their booth.
Virtual Trade Shows offer an economical alternative to a physical tradeshow. Smaller traditional events can run an exhibitor $25,000 to participate, whereas the larger events can cost upwards of $250,000, or more. A VTS doesn’t require travel costs, extra labor expense, and large booth design and assembly – even printed literature can be a thing of the past (unless requested). VTS exhibition, depending on the duration, can start as low as $15,000. Such fees typically cover a full-year’s participation along with multiple “live” events.
Beyond the money savings and convenience to show exhibitors and participants are benefits to the environment. Reduced or eliminated travel helps lower energy use and associated carbon emissions. Electronic information reduces resource use by not developing physical booths and reams of printed collateral.
i365Tech is very excited about the opportunities new technology, especially Virtual Trade Shows, offers manufacturers and suppliers, as well as the environment. Just think of the message GreenBuild could send if it were to go 100% virtual.