The last two years have created a lot of new scenarios for the world. Particularly, the business world has had to adapt to a lot of adjusted scenarios. Much work has begun to be from home, rather than in offices. This forced IT to change the way they think of their corporate networks to allow for greater variability, while also protecting data. But, the biggest part of industries to be affected by the altered way of thinking has been events, like CES. Our good friend Steve Winter from Brotman-Winter-Fried discusses some of the changes and how to deal with them.
Virtual versus physical events
The general consensus for businesses has been that virtual events are incredibly difficult and less productive. Even though the overall expense of setting up a virtual exhibit versus a physical one is significantly less expensive, the number of people you interact with is lessened. If you look at it from a pure numbers game, the more people you talk to, the more likely you are to interact with someone who might want to do business with your company or even invest in the product offering. With fewer people, there are fewer chances and therefore fewer successes.
However, currently, physical events are not as well attended as in the past. For example, Steve Winter refers to the number 40% for CES 2022. Everything felt like it was at 40% of capacity – the number of exhibitors, the number of attendees, and even the number of media. Some of this is because of personal fears or legitimate medical situations. PArt of our team was forced to stay remote for CES 2022 because of medical situations. Others were prohibited from travel because of international restrictions. We spoke with companies ahead of CES that said they were having to drop out because, even if they could get into the US, they might not be able to go home.
How to address the issues
One of the hardest but most direct is to tough it out. Being in attendance in person is simply the best option. The accidental interactions you have with people on the show floor of an event like CES are unable to be replicated by a virtual venue. Many of the long-term partners we have, such as BenjiLock and Monster Illuminessence, were born out of chance encounters while wandering the show floor with no real intentions. With virtual events, it really comes down to curation and having a very strong plan, which completely eliminates the chance encounter.
The second great option is to have a strong PR partner, such as Brotman-Winter-Fried. They can help pick up some of the slack for those who can not attend in person, and enhance the opportunity for great conversations. They can also set up some planned conversations through their existing network of connections. In the past few years, some of our best guests have come to us through some of the big names in the CES PR space – namely Steve and his partners.
To learn more about Brotman-Winter-Fried or to contact Steve Winter, head to the company’s website.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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