More than a year has passed since the pandemic closed everyone in Europe to their homes. During this time, most of the business not only moved online, but also successfully adapted to new conditions. The holding of such large-scale events as exhibitions and conferences, where each company can present itself, its products or services, was no exception.
How to organize an online exhibition at the Clubhouse – the experience of the international online exhibition Russian Clubhouse Expo was analyzed and given recommendations by Inga Lamouroux, head of marketing for one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Germany, creator and author of the MarketInga blog.
Most of the major annual exhibitions have been moved online due to the pandemic. For example, CES-2021, the largest technical exhibition, due to quarantine restrictions this year was held exclusively online on the platform of one of the social networks.
With the transition of mass events to online, little has changed in terms of acquiring useful acquaintances and exchanging information, only the format of such meetings has changed. However, in terms of organization, there is one significant difference. Previously, businesses always thoroughly prepared for such events: they booked hotels, air tickets, planned presentations, meetings. Today, all these actions are minimized to a couple of clicks.
At the same time, the main difference between organizing an online exhibition and an offline format is the time it takes to promote and advertise the event. If for an offline event the advertising campaign goes from the moment of the project launch to the start day with increasing intensity, then for online – everything is done at the last moment so that the participant does not have time to be distracted and lose interest.
The audio social network Clubhouse also did not miss the opportunity to use its resource for holding such events at its site. The constantly growing audience of the application (today it is about 10 million people, and this is without taking into account Android users, for whom Clubhouse will be available in the near future) makes it possible to attract the attention of various social groups.
The exhibition showed good opportunities for business and collaboration and became a catalyst for similar events that took place this week. Of course, the success came largely thanks to the activity of the event participants and the organizing club, which today unites the largest Russian-speaking community on the Clubhouse platform.
Now, in more detail about the exhibition itself and the experience that we have learned from its holding.
Some statistics (according to the official data of the Dacha club and the Clubhouse counter):
The event was attended by 2,184 unique visitors;
48 clubs took part;
94 speakers took the floor, the average speaking time was 156 minutes. 26 sec .;
The average time of presence of one listener is 28 minutes. 27 sec.
As you can see, for the first time, the audio format platform showed a good result, as evidenced by the listener’s time indicator: it is quite difficult to grab attention for almost half an hour in an online format.
Advantages of the Clubhouse venue for exhibitions
Efficiency and lack of a business style of dress is convenient, no one judges you by your appearance, which makes communication more comfortable and open. You are speaking or just listening while doing other things;
Direct access to the event from anywhere in the world where there is Internet;
Potentially large audience coverage and long-term engagement (seen from statistics);
Possibility of additional communication with listeners (business contacts, work, acquaintances), which can take place simultaneously with the main event;
Potential application about yourself as an expert in a particular field of knowledge;
General marketing and mutual PR. All event participants advertise it, including on external resources;
Preparation speed. It took us one week, but with good organization and well-coordinated work of the team, this period may be less. Compared to offline events, which sometimes take months to prepare, this is an obvious plus.
Disadvantages of the Clubhouse as an exhibition venue
While the audio format is undoubtedly a plus in many ways, it also acts as a limiting barrier for many users accustomed to video content and live video broadcasts;
Access to the exhibition is limited to the Clubhouse application;
A relatively small circle of professional speakers, who are also limited by the venue;
The event is predominantly entertainment in nature, since it is not always taken seriously by its participants, in contrast to the target audience of offline events;
The turnover of the public is typical for any online event, and not only for the Clubhouse, since part of the audience on the network is just “onlookers”.
In general, the process of organizing an exhibition is the same as for an offline event. But with less cost and effort. There is no need to build a stand, logistics, furniture selection, prints, material products. Organizing an online exhibition is more like promoting a webinar or online course.
A few tips on how to organize an online exhibition at the Clubhouse
The process is phased.
1. Setting a goal
It is important here to determine what goals and objectives are set for the event, what benefits the participants will receive and what the final result is. The circle of urgent problems and mutual interests that will be highlighted at the event are also determined.
2. Choosing a format and calculating the budget for promotion
The optimal format is chosen (room, lecture, short presentations). An accurate calculation of advertising costs is done.
3. Determination of the circle of participants, topics and content
It is important to determine the target audience of the event, so that later it would be easier to target advertising and invite only those who are really interested. In addition, it is worth carefully preparing detailed information about the event, in this case, making a list of the organizing clubs, with their founders and contact details, and registering who is responsible for what.
4. Preparation and organization
Maximum communication with the participants is important here, and to stir up interest, you can make announcements and conduct briefings.
And then everything develops strictly in steps:
Calls are made to acquaintances from the contact list and invitations are sent;
Potential participants subscribe to thematic chats in Telegram, where information about the event is constantly updated;
The event plan is sent to suppliers, colleagues, speakers and participants;
Discussions of the upcoming exhibition are held with colleagues, guests and speakers.
5. Drawing up the program of the event
A detailed plan is developed, which includes a welcome speech, a presentation, an entertainment part (quiz), a selection of the most relevant topics for discussion and a closing speech.
An important stage, which needs to be paid maximum attention for the online format. The style, motto, messages on behalf of the company are being worked out. A Marketing Kit is being created: landing page, templates for social networks and PR, an active advertising campaign is being carried out.
Our Marketing Kit looked like this:
Template for post and stories for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn: exhibition announcement, save the date, countdown to the event (3 days, 2 days, 1 day);
Video message for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn;
Cooperation with clubs;
PR: press release for the media.
Summing up the results of the first online exhibition at the Clubhouse, we can say that the event was successful. The main part of the audience took an active part in the discussions, asked questions, shared their experiences and emotions from the event. Therefore, for business, holding such exhibitions can become an additional opportunity not only to declare themselves, but also to attract the target audience and share their own experience as a manufacturer or expert.