I won’t leave my readership (perhaps my mother) hanging…our experiment was a complete success at the show. Our booth was rated #1 (or very close to #1) of all the participating exhibitors, in categories such as unique visitors, time, user ratings, etc. It was directly attributable to the interactive sims we had (don’t take my word for it — this was real feedback).
Visitor time in our booth was over 150% of the average time spent at a booth, except for the prize booth. Also, we did a little experiment in which we modified our simulations from Day 1 to Day 2 and actually got real user behavior demonstrating how we can tune performance. I think it was a resounding success from the data point of view, and now it is time to go to potential customers with these results. Of course the virtual trade show is like a web site, and so a lot of what we observed in the show microcosm I think can be applied to web site behavior (of course we intend to measure that as well, and compare behavior).
We’ve been talking with manufacturers who are interested in more virtual shows (some are not interested, and some publishers we understand are not convinced about the virtual show value). I can’t say I believe the virtual trade show is here to stay, but it does offer some interesting advantages over merely having a web site, and I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to leverage simulations.