Creating your virtual presence
Showcasing products and services at a virtual conference is an exquisite challenge. Smiling at passers-by is not an option, but the strategies you craft to get visitors to your virtual booth is confined only by your imagination. And while you are thinking about how you can be brilliant beyond belief, take comfort in the fact that you won’t pay a penny for travel or accommodations.
Getting started with your profile
Once you log in (see the Everyone section for those instructions), your profile in the left sidebar will confirm your status as a partner. In the example below, Ronald Frederick is a member of the Presentation Guild. If you do not see the name of your organization in the left-sidebar profile, email us right away and we will address that promptly.
To begin setting up your exhibit, you can either:
- Click the pencil icon next to your company name
- Use the pull-down menu that bears your first name and choose Exhibitor Center.
From the Exhibitor Center, you can walk through each of the categories of information you can share with our patrons. From the left sidebar, you will see the four main categories of content; we will describe them here.
Click the EDIT links to invoke an editing sidebar from which you can cycle forward or backward through the following:
THE HEADER. You can choose to greet your visitors with a photo, an auto-playing video, or just your company logo. Videos are referenced from YouTube or Vimeo, so you would upload it there, copy the link, and paste it into the Video ID field. Videos uploaded here will play automatically, loop forever, and default to audio disabled. This makes them best suited for simple animations or sequences that can be appreciated at a glance. Demo videos and personal greetings are probably best handled differently; keep reading.
If you would like to greet people with a large and lively image, just click the rectangle with the + and locate the photo from your computer. The image integrates nicely with your logo:
If you choose not to go with a photo or a video, your logo will move to the top of the page; that is a nice look, too.
INFORMATION. Here is where you get to tell your story, starting with the Overview. You can write as much as you want here, and more important, you can use simple HTML. That means you can set type in bold, italic, numbering, and bullets. More important, you can add links to other places. Here is where you might want to create a link called “Watch our demo of the new version” or “Greeting from the CEO.”
In addition, there are two custom fields that we created for you:
- Talk to us right now: Include a URL to your Zoom channel, a Google group, or a Slack channel. Any place where you would like to interact with people informally.
- Drop us a line: Link to a contact page, a form, survey, or some other vehicle to solicit input from people.
We created these fields to be very flexible — just about anything could go into those spaces — but do let us know if you would like some creative suggestions.
SOCIAL MEDIA. Enter identifying information for your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, etc. Click See all social networks and prepare to get dizzy with all of the choices for you.
CONTACT DETAILS. You decide how much information to provide here: phone numbers, email address, website URL, mailing address.
DOCUMENTS. Here is where you can get especially creative, as a document can either be a file that you upload or a URL that you link to. You can upload PDF swag, trial copies of software, ebooks, technical notes, white papers, video demos…practically anything.
This part of the interface, however, is tricky and potentially frustrating.
- In order to upload a file, you need to click the small cloud-looking icon to the right of the Upload your document or insert the URL box.
- In order to reference a file or location in the cloud, you do not click the cloud icon, instead you enter the URL directly, and as the instructions say, you must paste it the URL.
- If you begin typing the URL, as soon as you complete something that looks like a URL (i.e. “.com” or similar), the box will turn gray and not accept any more input. You will have to delete the entry and start over.
- If you paste a URL without the “http://” prefix, the link will fail. So open a second browser window, go to the desired location, copy the entire link, and then paste it into the Document field.
Even when you do it correctly and click Create Document, the link might fail to accept the “http://” prefix, requiring a second attempt. In our experiments with this glitchy part of the UI, it might take two or three tries. Be patient, it will eventually take. Swapcard is aware of these bugs.
Exhibitors inherit the available meeting times that the conference defines and the dates and times show prominently right below your header and logo. We do not allow meetings to be booked during keynote addresses and we do not include times outside of conference hours. If a patron asks for a meeting, you will be notified through the platform, and if you have the app installed on your phone, via a notification there, also. You can accept or decline the meeting, and all of that activity appears in this section of the Exhibitor Center.
This is a simple list of those people who have connected with your team members. As the event progresses and more folks connect with your team, this list will grow.
Your exhibit team can include as many people as you want, provided that they are registered with the conference. Many exhibitors seek out volunteers among their friends and supporters to staff the booth and boost live availability. The conference or the platform itself imposes no restrictions on the number of people whom you can add to your team. You can choose for any member of your team to be included or excluded in the team roster that appears at your exhibit booth. You toggle that visibility in the Your Team section of the Exhibit Center.
Exhibitors can find more information and advice about increasing traffic and leads from this Best Practices to Increase ROI online document.