Virtual fairs, the future that is already here

Online events can connect with business marketing strategies. Making them visible, generating expectation and trust are key to positioning them.

As covid-19 has spread around the world, companies have had to cancel or postpone their face-to-face events. The behavior of the virus and government decisions make it impossible to be certain of the dates on which these massive gatherings can be held, which, despite the fact that they can reactivate the economy, pose a risk of contagion for the community.

According to estimates from the entertainment industry, in Colombia the losses due to the cancellation of events amount to 200,000 million pesos. With this panorama and given the growing need to adapt the communication strategies of companies to the current context, virtual events and fairs are emerging as an ideal solution to maintain contact with buyers and investors to make the work of brands visible.

What must be considered?

Although the essence of the organizations must remain, this does not mean that it is necessary to transfer to virtuality the concept that had been defined for the physical event. To design a strategy, one must start from the following questions: How do I capture the attention of my audience? How can I create an experience that is supported by interaction and personalization? How important am I giving to communication? Should I hire an IT provider or is my team trained? and How can I convert visits into transactions?

These questions represent a challenge that requires knowledge of the company, the interests of the public that previously attended in person, and digital marketing trends. Colombia is advancing rapidly in the development and conceptualization of online events, with the surprise that its organizers are going beyond the exhibition and focus on attraction and experience.

Colombiamoda, a response to reinvention

Colombiamoda, the fashion and textile fair that has been held without interruptions for three decades, will have its first virtual version this year. According to Sebastián Díez Vargas, Marketing Director of Inexmoda, “Colombiamoda was born in 1990, in the most difficult times for drug trafficking. Historically, it has remained facing the most difficult moments and today, when technology plays in our favor, we want to preserve that spirit”.

Technology becomes the main ally to carry out commercial transactions. Communication and logistics are decisive in creating a good experience.

Keeping that essence as a north, allowed them to understand its value in this context in which the textile industry needs to move its cash registers, expand and come up with new proposals. With the reputation of being one of the largest fashion fairs in Latin America and with a defined concept that integrates fashion, knowledge and business, they studied the needs of the environment and the behavior of digital audiences.

The result of three months of remote work, with a marathon pace, will be evident from July 27 to August 3. The strategy was unified on the site  , allowing exhibitors, buyers and visitors in general to enter a platform that adapts to their role at the fair.

This edition, which for the first time lasts for a week, will have a business meeting, in which nearly 300 brands will be able to create commercial alliances with national and international buyers. One of the great novelties is the Market Place which, in alliance with the online sales platform Mercado Libre, will allow the traditional retail trade show to be maintained. In addition, to connect brands with consumers and members of the fashion industry, they will have shows with catwalks, performances and art.

In terms of training, the Knowledge Pavilion, created in partnership with the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, will have a program of 25 free events and a new model of semi-personalized consulting called Masterclass and Consulting.

One of the great challenges that companies face with the digitization of their events and fairs is to generate confidence in the organization and the results. For this, it is essential to have a 360 diffusion that includes online and offline  media  and create strategies focused on the reputation of the company and the value of the event in times of pandemic.



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