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Trade shows go digital

Posted: 22 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:digital? trade shows? marketing?

Trade shows take over cyberspace as Global Sources launches digital shows in line with over 60 face-to-face sourcing shows in six cities in 2011.

The first digital show is scheduled to launch in April 2011 with the Hong Kong series of China Sourcing Fairs (, with other digital shows scheduled to continue throughout the year to encompass the company sourcing shows.

"Each of the digital shows will be a companion to its face-to-face version, with the objective of adding significant value to both buyers and exhibitors. We believe we can reach a much broader buyer community during and after each physical show. In addition, we expect to increase renewal rates, attract new exhibitors and generate new revenue streams," explained Merle Hinrichs, chairman and CEO, Global Sources.

Through these digital shows, buyers can view exhibition booths and products--even if they are unable to physically attend the show. Buyers can also communicate with suppliers through various channels, together with access to video interviews of exhibitors and other editorial coverage of the show.

Exhibitors at the physical show will be able to generate more orders and enhance their branding through their presence in the digital show. They will receive valuable inquiries and other leads--and their benefits will accrue before, during and after the show.

Global Sources is on the cusp of major changes in the export marketing media-mix, as the company moves past the search-centric era. Online and digital technologies will enable the company to add tremendous value to its physical shows and to the communities it serves.

A research of the company's key exhibitors found that exhibitors see tremendous potential from the integration of face-to-face and digital marketing and plan to boost their digital marketing initiatives to improve marketing performance. Their primary objectives with the cobined face-to-face and digital trade shows are to extend marketing reach, increase ROI of their physical show investment, and enhance their brand and competitive differentiation.

Thus, Global Sources believes that trade shows are entering a new era of growth, founded on the interaction between physical shows, print and digital magazines as well as online services.

"In 1996 we launched Global Sources Online (then known as Asian Sources Online), the industry's first B2B online marketplace. We pioneered Private Sourcing Events, and today we mark our 40th anniversary with the announcement of this brand new medium of digital trade shows," said Hinrichs.

"The net effect is that we are first-to-market with a holistic B2B media model that fully embraces the integration of traditional, face-to-face and online media. We view our digital trade shows as a breakthrough initiative that extends our position of providing the market's broadest and most integrated multi-channel export marketing platform. Also, unlike online-only or trade show-only operators, our multi-channel offering addresses buyers' needs at all stages of the buying process--and gives them the choice of how, when and where they wish to consume sourcing content and engage with export suppliers," concluded Hinrichs.

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