Friday, May 8, 2020
Jodie Kelley CEO of the ETA , thanked the association’s conference planning committee for taking prompt, decisive action to convert the show from an on-site to a purely virtual format. It became clear in February that COVID-19 would impact us, and the following month, we were all working from home, she stated.
Kelley further noted that the entire project was executed quickly in March, when the ETA contracted with RIVE, an experiential agency with expertise in creating virtual summits. She added that RIVE executives collaborated with the ETA and member organizations to identify the most important components to deliver in a virtual show.
In a podcast interview with Glen Sarvady, managing principal at 154 Advisors, Kelley said the ETA wanted to replicate the most critical parts of the event and made a real effort to connect with people in a virtual environment. Virtual exhibit hall hours will enable people to carry on conversations in much the same way that they would chat in an on-site booth, she explained. Another innovative aspect is AI-powered networking that enables people to see the products a company offers, what a company does, as well as schedule follow-up meetings.
“We wanted to take the critical features of TRANSACT where people go to do business, network, demo products and also to learn,” Kelley said. “On the virtual tradeshow floor, we’ll have icons for each exhibitor that take you to a page with videos, infographics and brochures that showcase their products. A live chat feature will enable attendees to chat in real time with an exhibitor.”
TRANSACT Connect attendees and participants will be able to generate new leads, hear from thought leaders, schedule virtual one-on-one meetings and expand their professional networks, Kelley stated. She added that educational tracks will not be as overlapping as they might be in a physical environment. “Every speaker will address the situation we find ourselves in now," she said. "We’ll cover topics that we’ve been talking about for a long time but through the lens of the pandemic.”
Billed as a virtual show with real-world benefits, TRANSACT Connect will offer participants a richly interactive environment, according to event organizers. The platform is designed to facilitate engagement through curated content, product demos and real-time networking.
“The platform requires no apps, no downloads, no communication tools or plug-ins – just a laptop, a Wi-Fi connection and a registration,” ETA organizers stated. “With those three things, attendees unlock a five-day virtual networking experience powered by AI and rich with on-demand content, networking events, keynotes and a virtual show floor packed with leading companies waiting to do business with you.”
Registration is now open. Readers of The Green Sheet can enter code GREENSHEET for a 20 percent discount on registration. For more details or to register for the event, visit www.electran.org/events/etatransact/register-transact-connect-2020/ .
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