Best Practices on Chat to Share with Your Attendees and Exhibitors

Giving your customers the tools they need to successfully connect during your event

In the past few months, we have relied on technology to communicate and stay connected. As shows begin to incorporate virtual components, your attendees and exhibitors may have the opportunity to utilize chat to communicate throughout the duration of your event. Here are a few best practices to consider implementing to ensure your attendees and exhibitors make the most out of their networking opportunities:

Prepare Attendees and Exhibitors Prior to the Show

Attendees and exhibitors may be new to virtual or hybrid events, so it is important to help them prepare in advance and feel comfortable with the tools provided to them prior to the start of the event. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Attendees: Make sure attendees have all the information they need in order to create a show login, so they can access exhibitor profiles and send direct chat messages. The more comfortable they are using the networking tools, the more likely they are to connect with exhibitors.
  • Exhibitors: Be sure to set deadlines for your exhibitors to complete their online listings and give them the education they need to upload relevant and attractive content prior to the start of your event. The more valuable content they have on their profile, the more likely attendees will visit their page and engage. Every connection can become a valuable lead. If your staff has the opportunity to utilize an exhibitor engagement team, consider offering this service to your exhibitors as a resource to ensure their content will stand out.

Advise Exhibitors to be Available During Show Hours

One of the best ways to connect is to be online and available during active show hours, so it is important to share specific times with your exhibitors that you anticipate high traffic. Instead of just sending emails, encourage attendees and exhibitors to be live, online so they can connect instantly by utilizing a messaging feature such as chat, versus playing “tag” as they try to get in touch.

Provide Attendees with Conversation Starters to Break the Ice

Some of your attendees may be new to communicating through chat, so give them resources such as conversation starters to make them feel comfortable reaching out to exhibitors for the first time. Here are a few examples:

  • Do you have any additional information on the [insert product name] you demoed during [insert event]?
  • I am interested in [insert product category] and I see that your company returned in my search results. Can you tell me more about your products?
  • Could we schedule a meeting to discuss your products/services in more detail?

Encourage Attendees and Exhibitors to Continue the Conversations

Chat is a great way to start the conversation, but partnerships will likely grow outside of the platform following the event. Encourage your exhibitors to continue their conversations with an email or social media connection. By making meaningful connections, ROI will prove itself to be high year-round, and not just during show hours.

Offering Chat functionality during your event can help facilitate connections that will help exhibitors see the value behind their investment, in turn growing your event. Providing as many tools as possible to make networking easy for your audience is a win-win!

Best Practices on Chat to Share with Your Attendees and Exhibitors