USA Today recently pointed out a trend that is likely to gain more and more influence in the 21sr Century: virtual trade shows.
Virtual shows combine the latest technology in webcasting, online chats, video streaming, webinars and avatar graphics to offer the elements of trade shows: exhibitor booths, speeches, seminars, distribution of marketing literature and social "gatherings."
The technology companies that develop virtual-meetings software, such as Unisfair, ON24 and Second Life, say they're seeing big demand.
The recession has fed the trend. Who wants to fly everything to Chicago or Seattle when the cost of a virtual trade show is so much lower? Virtual trade shows can also have the benefit of more targeted marketing. The downside? No free cocktails…