Trade shows are one of the most popular types of large events.  

Trade shows are industry-focused events that typically feature a large number of exhibitor booths showcasing products or services related to the industry. While most people associate trade shows with memories of walking around a large conference centered around visiting booths and making in-person connections, the trade show format translates well to a virtual setting – if you have the right virtual event platform to host it on.

Virtual trade shows provide an opportunity for industry members to network, exhibit new products and services, learn from thought leaders in the industry, and stay up to date on trends, regulations, and advancements

How Do Virtual Trade Shows Work? 

Virtual trade shows gained traction during the pandemic as an alternative to cancelling planned in-person trade shows. However, that doesn’t mean that they’ll disappear after the pandemic is over. Virtual trade shows have proven themselves an effective method of hosting trade shows, producing measurable results, and reducing business travel. 

Exhibitors previously reported that cost and difficulty measuring ROI were their two largest problems with in-person trade shows. Hosting a virtual tradeshow is a great way to lower costs for all parties. Virtual events also provide a wealth of data and key metrics to help event owners and sponsors better measure the success of the event and their ROI. Check out our blog on how to boost virtual event ROI for more helpful tips on how to get the best return on investment from your events and trade shows. 

Social27 Event Platform was created with exhibitors in mind. The platform includes a wide range of features designed to help exhibitors expertly showcase their products and services in a virtual format.  

Virtual trade show exhibitors can customize Virtual Exhibitor Booth Microsites. These microsites allow exhibitors to share information about their products and services on their own designated page within the event platform. Exhibitors can designate a virtual booth representative to answer questions and engage visitors just as they would at an in-person booth. They can also curate content Playlists and downloadable resources and allow attendees to scan their badge at the booth to request more information on the displayed products and services.  

Virtual Event Trade Show Use Cases by Industry  

A virtual trade show can work for any industry. If you’re having trouble picturing how one would work for your industry, we’ve included some helpful examples below. If you don’t see your industry listed here and would like to learn more about hosting a virtual tradeshow on the Social27 Virtual Event Platform, you can request a demo call.


Tech-focused trade shows translate very well into virtual experiences. One great thing about hosting a virtual trade show for the tech industry is that attendees are already quite tech-savvy, so the learning curve is significantly lower. Both exhibitors and attendees are likely to be early adopters of new technologies and trends, so your core audience is likely already well-versed in virtual meetings and events. 

A virtual trade show would be a perfect way to execute a trade show planned around the SaaS segment of the tech industry. Exhibitors could load their content playlists on their exhibitor Microsite with product videos and sales sheets for visitors to review. Then they could have signup links to scheduled small group virtual product demo sessions or to request a meeting with sales staff right from the exhibition booth.


Virtual trade shows are a great option for government trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences. The budget of government agencies can vary greatly, and virtual trade shows are most often the more economical option for event owners, speakers, sponsors, and attendees.  

Government agencies are also typically interested in finding contractors or agencies to provide services rather than viewing physical products. Virtual events are great for viewing virtual product demonstrations and overviews of software products, community-based services or solutions, and other relevant services. Virtual and hybrid events are actually better-suited for this type of exhibition and sales interaction, as virtual events make it easy for attendees to learn about the vendor’s services prior to visiting the company’s booth.

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) 

You may be asking “How can I exhibit consumer packaged goods virtually? Shouldn’t booth visitors be able to touch, taste, or see the product in person?”. The CPG industry did successfully run trade shows virtually throughout the pandemic. For B2C exhibitors, yes you probably do want customers to be able to taste your snack food items, swatch makeup products, or take a sip of your packaged beverages. However, virtual events are great for B2B interactions in the CPG industry – and trade shows are primarily B2B focused events.

For example, if you are hosting a virtual trade show in the health food industry, you could coordinate with exhibitors to provide samples to buyers attending the event. The event owner could collect samples and send out gift boxes to attendees with samples from the sponsoring exhibitors.  

Alternatively, event owners could coordinate the sharing of mailing addresses for attendees from grocery stores or chains interested in receiving samples and provide that to exhibitors. This should always be done in compliance with GDPR and relevant privacy acts. Buyers can then attend the virtual event and speak with representatives at each virtual exhibition booth to go over the product’s benefits, sales data, nutritional information, and other key questions that they may have. 


Healthcare trade shows are a great way for medical professionals to stay up to date on new treatment options, medical devices, and more. However, it can be challenging for medical care providers to find time to travel to and attend these events due to their packed patient care schedules. Virtual trade shows provide a great option for making trade shows accessible to all healthcare professionals instead of only administrators.

When hosting a healthcare trade show, event organizers and exhibitors will want to make use of on demand content throughout the event platform and exhibition booths. On demand virtual content can be accessed at any time including after the event. This helps nurses, doctors, and other patient care providers who often work long days and unusual hours. They may not be able to log on at set times to view live sessions, but they can catch up on what they missed on their own schedules. 

Host a Virtual Trade Show on Social27 Virtual Event Platform  

Social27 Virtual Event Platform provides the necessary tools to host an engaging and informative virtual trade show. With customized exhibitor Microsites, real-time data insights, and versatile networking features your attendees and vendors will be able to accomplish all of their trade show objectives. 

Set up a demo today to learn more about what Social27 has to offer event organizers and sponsors!