Virtual Petindex has revealed that “hundreds” of visitors joined its first virtual trade show, held over 14 June and 15 June.
The online event, organised by the Pet Industry Federation (PIF), was sponsored by eBay UK Ltd, and has been called the “first of its kind” for the pet industry by organisers.
Visitors were able to browse over 60 stands from the UK and overseas, including such countries as Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Webinars were also held in a virtual ‘auditorium’, which featured talks, panel discussions and grooming demonstrations.
Visitors can continue to access the Virtual Petindex platform in order to browse stands and watch the webinars for the next 30 days. Exhibitors will therefore continue to benefit from its platform despite the live show having ended.
Each exhibitor also received a detailed breakdown of the visitors who visited their stand over the course of the live event, and will receive a full report and visitor analysis tailored to their stand once the platform officially closes on 15 July.
Nigel Baker, CEO of the Pet Industry Federation, said: “We have been really pleased with the success of Virtual Petindex and the support shown to the event by exhibitors who threw their weight behind this inaugural trade show.
“The experience has been a huge learning curve for us, as well as the exhibitors, and although it was not without some teething issues, the cost-effectiveness of this type of show, and the detailed information gained from visitors to the show will ensure that the virtual trade show has a strong future.”
He added: “There are clear differences between a virtual trade show and a traditional one, and whilst a virtual trade show can’t replace many of the networking and social opportunities that a traditional show does, we do believe that a virtual show can offer a new type of marketing opportunity, with an excellent return on investment.
“Many exhibitors believe this too and have already confirmed that they would like to take part in another event.”
Peter Roy from Natures Menu added: “Obviously we were disappointed to not have a face conference, but given the circumstances I thought the event went well, it was my first virtual conference, but probably not my last.
“We had over 350 requests for information, many from new customers. We are going through the opportunities now, and already opened up 8 new stores and over 20 freezer deals so far with more to follow I am sure.”
The next Virtual Petindex event will be held on 11-12 October 2020, with additional rates on offer for those who sign up early.