Attending a Virtual Roofing Trade Show

If you’re planning on attending a virtual trade show this year, you might have some questions. How do I attend a virtual trade show? What do I do when I get there? Many of the biggest shows have postponed their events in hopes that the pandemic’s impact on attendance will lessen, but many have also pivoted to hosting virtual shows. As we gear up to exhibit at the International Roofing Expo next month, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at what a virtual trade show looks like, and advice on how to make the most of your attendance.

How do I attend a virtual trade show?

One of the big benefits of a virtual trade show is that wherever you are right now is essentially the convention center. Virtual trade shows bring the speakers, exhibitors, products and vendors right to your internet-connected device. You can tune in to keynote speakers from your phone, or video chat with vendors from your laptop, without having to shell out for the expense of travel and lodging. That isn’t to say that shows are without cost however, most trade shows will continue to have a registration fee for attendees. Visit the website of the show you plan on attending for registration details.

Looking to attend the IRE Virtual Trade Show this year? Register for the IRE Virtual here.

What do I do at a virtual trade show?

While we’ll miss dining out with colleagues and collecting swag, there are definitely perks to attending a virtual show. You don’t have to wander the aisles looking for booths that have what you need. Virtual shows typically offer easy-to-search menus of speakers, companies and products that you can use to find what you need.

To make the most of your time at a virtual show, first, take a look at the live speaking schedule. Virtual shows usually host several live speakers, and while they may offer recordings of the presentation afterward, you’ll miss any live question and answer opportunities if you just watch the recording.

An example of a virtual trade show schedule.
Plan out the live sessions you’d like to attend, and add them to your calendar

Next, peruse the exhibitor list and book meetings with any vendors you want to talk to. Most platforms allow you to schedule meetings or “drop-in” to a booth as you would at a physical trade-show. If you want to speak in-depth with a vendor, a scheduled meeting allows them more time to prepare their presentation for you.

An example of a virtual trade show's product directory.
Most shows will offer searchable product lists

Lastly, take advantage of any downloadable content offered at the show. You won’t be lugging around a bag of swag and brochures as you would a physical show, but that doesn’t mean you should leave empty-handed. Most exhibitors will include marketing materials for download and sharing with your colleagues.

What do I get out of a virtual trade show?

Overall, a virtual tradeshow is a more efficient way to connect with vendors and speakers in your industry. You’re able to quickly engage with the products and exhibitors that you’re interested in, and you can avoid the large crowds, attention-seeking gimmicks, and general noise of a physical event. You’re still afforded the chance to learn and network with industry professionals, and you can still purchase equipment and technology for your business, you just won’t have to fly home with it.

RoofSnap's virtual booth
Swing by RoofSnap’s Virtual Booth at the IRE Virtual Show!

If you’re attending the IRE virtual show March 2 – 4th, make sure to swing by RoofSnap’s virtual booth and book a meeting with our team! If you can’t wait for the show or aren’t attending a virtual trade show this year, you can always start a trial of RoofSnap’s software and start using it to streamline your roofing business today.

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