“ We analyse their behaviour and peer-to-peer behaviour and build it . Also , we provide 365 communities and marketplaces , working with industry associations and portfolios of events where they can extend the event experience and keep connecting , entertaining , engaging and educating people throughout the year .”
Virtual vs live Looking at the future divide between virtual and live events , Pinchuk says : “ I think there is a false dichotomy of live and digital . When we speak about events , I think that the last two years proved that technology allowed us to keep staying in business . And when we could not , organisers kept moving , increasing adoption of technology for the audience .
“ I think that what we ’ re seeing now is like tectonic shifts that are happening , where we are building new industry standards .
“ The industry standards that we had before Covid-19 are very much improved and enhanced with technology . If we take for example lead retrieval , what we had before Covid-19 , it was mostly badge scanning or business card exchange at face-toface meetings . This this how exhibitors could create a list of leads that they bring from the event , which is the main KPI for them . If you compare it with what we have now , where these leads can be generated from different sources , including people who have used your product , profile views , sessions , if they are speaking
“ The industry standards that we had before Covid-19 are very much improved and enhanced with technology ”
at sessions . We provide this list of interactions , messages , meetings , everything that happened during the event .
“ What we noticed is the number of leads that exhibitors can get now is 300 % bigger than we had pre-Covid . So this is this is where technology can definitely play a great role .”
Irreplaceable value of live Pinchuk says that as exhibition budgets typically fall under marketing budgets , businesses are
comparing the value of leads from exhibitions with other digital sources .
“ What is irreplaceable is the value that face-to-face brings , Pinchuk says : “ But it has to be enhanced with technology .”
365 communities are a great example of technology adding value . “ The peak of engagement activity is during the event . Before the event they can communicate on the event platform , but after the event , there is a rapid drop of engagement and then months of silence .
“ A very good example is Vinexposium . They gathered more than 3,000 wine producers and tens of thousands of buyers from all over the world . “ What they have there is a marketplace with lots of products , where buyers can pre-build interest . Vinexposium organises a different physical events in different countries so they see if there is an audience for faceto-face gatherings . And they can warm up this audience with speed networking or an exhibition or conference .
“ The other thing that can also enhance this face-toface and pre-built interest is request for proposals , which we launched recently . Buyers can gather proposals from exhibitors , and pre-select who they would like to meet at face-to-face events . It ’ s just one more dimension .”
Tech disruption For a tech entrepreneur , Pinchuk is realistic about the state of the virtual events world .
“ The reality we are in at the moment shows that the projections that some online event technologies like Hopin had were a bit exaggerated . This purely online bubble is bursting now .
“ I think that absence does make the heart grow fonder . We missed in-person interactions , we wanted to come back , but the numbers are not the same as 2019 . And I think that we should expect that there will be some reduction . But faceto-face events will definitely stay because they provide the credibility .”
Pinchuk points to a study by McKinsey which asked B2B buyers and sellers about their confidence in remote interactions – 91 % said remote interactions were just as effective . But the bigger question is how much they are prepared to spend online . The research found 35 % willing to spend $ 500,000 or more on remote deals – up from 21 % in March 2020 .
With that in mind , exhibition organisers need to keep an eye on tech advances – the metaverse , augmented reality , smart glasses - Pinchuk says . While prices for headsets and other equipment are currently high as it becomes more adopted in our personal lives – the prices will go down . Exhibitions will need to keep up to stay in the game . EN
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