RealTime IT News

Czech Company Successful with Virtual Trade Fair

Czech company Agentura Modre Stranky arranged a virtual trade fair, Computer Forum, that with more than 270 exhibitors and average of 1.000 visitors daily, was successful and gives good prospect for the next year.

Basically, the virtual trade fair is a sort of Web portal. The organizing company built several "pavilions"--portal pages containing links to individual "stands" (i.e. homepages and exhibitor pages).

Most of the exhibitors used their normal Web sites in the role of stands, but some of them built special ad hoc presentations. These exhibitors were among the most successful in terms of visitors' interest.

The portal site of the trade fair was divided into categories, including hardware, software, communications, and office equipment. The fair was also equipped with full-text search engine, chat rooms and a published regular e-zine as the daily of the fair.

The organizing company tried to mimic in cyberspace all possible features of normal traditional trade fair--except one. There was no fee for participating and, of course, no fee for visiting the fair, either. Its main goal was to verify whether is the whole concept is viable.

Is it? Both the number of exhibitors and amount of visitors seem to be quite good in context of Czech Web, where the most successful Web sites can't boast more than 4.000 individual visitors daily. Obviously, that doesn't mean that the virtual trade fair is a proven business model.

Nevertheless, as the costs of traditional fairs are becoming higher and higher, there is some temptation in moving these activities into cyberspace. But who needs special event like virtual trade fair, taking into account the whole Web as sort of a permanent fair?