Getting creative for online tradeshows
This story is about a creative response to the current situation that we find ourselves in. I imagine that most, if not all, of you have attended at least one virtual trade show over the last year. I know, from talking to both customers and vendors, that the virtual tradeshow experience has everyone a bit jaded by the experience. Nothing yet replaces the hands-on experience of seeing and touching a product at a trade show as you evaluate your needs and the vendors offerings.
I have seen a lot of creativity this last year as many companies have attempted to bridge that gap. Some of the innovation has come in the form of new online trade show experiences, from the show producers. One of the most interesting experiments was a completely immersive, 3D world delivered by Virbela for the Global Robot Expo in October, 2020. As you can see in Figure 1 below, each show participant got to create a “virtual twin” of themselves and then walk around a virtual convention center, a virtual expo hall, and have 1:1 meetings with other people in realtime. It was a “SIMs does tradeshow” experience.
What 6 River Systems has created is an online product demo variation of the “Choose your own adventure” genre of stories. The concept is engaging, I think that it’s better than just passively watching a Youtube video, AND it put you in the frame of reference of the warehouse associate. So you’re making decisions as the associate at each point in time. I think that this product demo goes a long ways towards giving the user a novel and memorable experience. You might even be so engaged to go through it several times, just to see what happens if you make a different choice (I did). Here’s a quick screenshot video that I took of one path through the Chuck demo:
I’ll give 6 River Systems, a 9 out of 10 stars for this interactive demo. It was well planned, well filmed, and it was engaging. I think that given the current situation for both vendors and virtual trade show attendees, this type of production helps a company like 6 River Systems to stand out from the crowd. Maybe they’ve raised the bar a bit, but I think that’s good use of marketing dollars that otherwise might have been spent on travel or other expenses for a trade show event. With everyone meeting virtually, companies have to get creative and try new ways to engage prospects.
Why only 9 stars? As creative as it is, some of the “wrong choices” only give you a warning and let you go on with the “right” choice. Unless there’s an Easter egg that I missed, the team could have added something a little more humorous for the user to stumble into. If you find an Easter egg in the demo, please share.
Please tell me what you think in the comments, or if you discover a similar or better virtual product demo by a vendor, then please share a link.
You can check out the interactive demo on the 6 River Systems website.