Trade Shows Go Virtual: Showcasing Show Booths and Conference Materials OnlineApril 09, 2020 by Luke James
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trade shows across the world are starting to go virtual with events streamed from company headquarters.
But it is difficult to see how face-to-face trade shows, which cover everything from craft gin and fine wines to firearms and electronics, could be entirely replaced by online streamed events. This is because trade shows are and have always been an important point of contact in a customer’s journey, just as much about networking and relationship building as they are sales and marketing.
Trade shows are also a huge business. In the United States, trade shows represent one of the most profitable business-to-business (B2B) models. Exhibitors frequently pay millions of dollars in advance of a show to secure a space at it, and this generates billions of dollars not only for exhibition companies but the local economy, too.
Taking Trade Shows Online
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and enforced lockdowns, many trade show organizers have no other option than to bite the bullet and take their shows online. For some, this is seen as a better option than canceling altogether. For others, like Infineon who supplemented their physical presence at PCIM 2019 with a virtual duplicate of their booth, it is nothing new.
Some of the trade shows that are going virtual include prominent names from the electronics community. These companies are once again demonstrating the resilience and ingenuity of the community by finding novel ways to convey the message of their latest products and innovations to their customers.
A view of Infineon's virtual booth that was to be displayed at PCIM 2019.
ROHM Semiconductor has created a “virtual booth” in lieu of its planned presence at the 2020 IEEE APEC Global Conference. The company has revamped its digital presence with a new web page that features everything that attendees would have experienced at the physical APEC event booth.
The company will be featuring products and technologies such as their full SiC power modules, fourth-generation SiC MOSFETs, and contactless current sensors.
Participants in the company’s virtual show are also invited to sign up for a one-to-one consultation with a “ROHM Power Expert” in order to get deeper, customized insight and advice on their power needs.
Power Integrations, another company that was due to present its latest innovations at the IEEE APEC Global Conference, is also making use of a virtual booth.
The company announced on its website how it remains committed to showcasing its latest innovations, with customers able to find details of all PI’s latest technical presentations and product demonstrations that were due to be presented at APEC 2020. These include PowiGaN™ gallium nitride technology, BridgeSwitch BLDC motor drivers, and SCALE-iDriver SiC gate driver solutions for automotive.
PI has also created several virtual technical sessions covering the products and solutions on show that are available to stream immediately.
A virtual version of Power Integrations show booth that was to be presented at APEC 2020.
IEEE APEC 2020
As for IEEE APEC 2020 itself, where ROHM and PI were both scheduled to appear, it was cancelled in light of COVID-19 being designated a pandemic, thus prompting would-be exhibitors like ROHM and PI to create their virtual booths.
To preserve value for attendees, speakers, and exhibitors, APEC’s organizers have announced that planning is currently underway to assemble and deploy a virtual conference in the near future. At the time of writing, however, no details of dates or plans have been made available to the public. And with major exhibitors like ROHM and PI now holding their own online events, they may well pull out of APEC 2020 entirely.