A couple of other urgent work projects took me away for a bit from the virtual trade show evaluation, but I’ve been gearing up to talk with the virtual trade show vendors.
In the process, I’ve refined my questions and added a few, so here is the final list I came up with. I’ve told the vendors that I don’t want them to fill it out, I just want to use it as an overall guide to help steer the conversation/demo. Of course the overall questions are the most important
• What do you feel are distinctive characteristics/features of your platform or company?
• How long have you been hosting virtual trade shows?
• Approximately how many of your customers have come back to host a second or subsequent show with you?
• What is the overall process for coordination once you begin working with a client?
• In general, what aspects of the show do you handle and what do you require of your clients?
• How do you help steer clients to get the most value from their show, before, during, and after?
• Do you have any kind of user groups/networks for organizers to share experiences?
• Are there any upcoming shows in which we can take a look?
• Please provide two references.
(not necessarily in order, I just put numbers to have a point of reference)
1. Show Administration
• What types of tools are available for managing vendors, speakers, attendees?
• Are non-English languages supported, and how is it determined on show, vendor, speaker, or attendee basis?
2. Vendor/Exhibitor Administration/Setup
• Variety of booth types
• What is platform for customizing booths?
• Can the booth integrate Adobe Flash?
o If so, which versions (ActionScript 2 or ActionScript 3)?
o Can Flash extensions access booth features, such as initiate Chats, open documents
• What types of videos and/or multimedia can be used?
• What, if any, e-Commerce facilities/functionality are available?
• What formats are acceptable for the booth (contents)?
3. Speaker Administration
• Can talks be done as live streaming?
• Can talks be done as pre-recorded broadcasts?
• Are Q&A’s (following) sessions all text chat, or mixed (text/audio/webcam)?
• Are Q&A’s recorded for later use/review?
• Can the speaker share his or her desktop, or other WebEx-type functionality (white boards, polls, etc.)?
• Can the speaker browse to web sites or other content while allowing the participants to interact with that content?
• Can audience members speak (audio) or take the microphone?
• What technical requirements are there for the speaker to conduct a presentation?
• What are the recommended specs for speaker equipment?
• What formats are acceptable?
• Can there be multiple speakers/presenters, and from different locations?
4. Attendee Administration
• Platforms (Win/Mac/Linux)?
• Require any browser plug-in?
• Browser or other compatibilities (e.g., Windows Media, etc.)
• How intrusive is sign-up?
• How intrusive is login?
• What browser and software does an attendee need to participate?
• What kind of support is given during the conference for attendee problems?
6. Exhibit Hall
• How does a participant “see” the possible booths or vendors?
• Are there booths of different sizes?
• Do booths have different areas, or just one view?
• What kind of interaction can an attendee have with a sales/booth rep?
• What kind of tracking is kept for an attendee?
7. Attendee Networking
• Does it integrate with networking after the show?
• How do attendees network?
• Is there a place like a lounge where attendees can network?
• Why does an attendee want to hang out in the lounge?
• What kind of reporting is done, and how is that accessed?
• Can extensions or loaded content hook into tracking (read/write)?
• What kind of support is available before the show, for
o Show Organizer
• What kind of support is available during the show, for the same groups as above, as well as Participants/Visitors?
• Pricing/cost structure/options
11. Beyond the Show
• What are the archival capabilities for talks, exhibit hall, etc.
• How can the show creators get value after the show?
• How can exhibitors get value after the show?
• How do participants get value after the show, for example, social networking?