This past year has challenged us in more ways than we had ever considered. At Heartland Pharmacy, we found ourselves looking for new and innovative ways to connect with our communities and reach out to potential partnerships. We no longer had the opportunity to attend traditional conventions, meet face to face, or connect with people.
Challenges aside, we had the opportunity to take part in “virtual conventions,” which were previously unheard-of. We learned a lot from the experiences we had at these conventions and found that even through the digital world, we made successful connections and helped grow our business.
We want to share our tips on how to successfully participate in virtual conferences and conventions.
1. Be present.
You will not be in the same room as the other attendees and vendors. This fact makes it vitally important that you are present and focused during the session(s). Do not multitask by following up on daily tasks, checking emails, or passively staring at the screen.
2. Be active.
In addition to being present, also be active. Reach out to others, become familiar with other virtual booths, and discuss the overall content with multiple people. This may require a more concerted effort, but it will be much more beneficial.
3. Be prepared.
Content is king in a virtual convention. Be sure to have plenty of material ready for interested parties. Have digital brochures, rack cards, videos – a virtual library at the easy disposal of attendees. In addition to providing this information – provide incentives for attendees to engage in your booth: giveaways, feedback surveys, follow-up packets or appointments.
4. Clearly represent your company.
Depending on the host and the platform utilized for the event, you may easily be recognized, but that is not a guarantee. Put your brand front and center, and be sure to include your value propositions or offers as an upfront message with your booth.
5. Predetermine your measure for success.
Establish ROI goals and expectations both for virtual and in-person events moving forward. For example, what does it look like to have a successful trade show/conference?
Our first virtual convention helped us learn a lot and we also found it very successful. We received over 100 booth views, almost 80 content views and were able to follow up specifically with everyone who visited our booth as well as all attendees from a master list. Moving forward, this type of innovation will become intertwined in our company and culture, and we predict it will become a major part of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries as well.