The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we present and market our products and services. Industry events and tradeshows have been hit especially hard. Typically calling for gatherings of hundreds or even thousands of people, those affairs have been pretty much impossible to pull off in the current health climate.

A full 70% of event holders have moved a portion, if not the entirety, of their in-person events to a virtual platform. As for format, 69% decided to do webinars and 62% livestreamed their feature events.

Although it is fortunate that technology provides us with such options, moving from live to virtual platforms means that a lot of communication gets lost in translation. When a virtual event has no interactive elements, people are not as attentive. It can be difficult for businesses to explain how products work when buyers are not able to see them in person and interact with them.

So what can companies do to make up for that lack of personal touch?

This article presents four approaches that will make it easier for you to communicate your product's benefits via a virtual platform while adding interactive elements to make your presentation more engaging.

Interactive Content: Product Demos

Interactive product demos are effective for clearly explaining how a product or service works and what benefits it provides.

By using an animated format that allows viewers to clearly see product features and components and how they operate, such demos take the audience through the workings of a product from beginning to end. Illustrated motion provides an interactive experience that makes potential clients feel as if they are turning and touching the product themselves.

Here is an example of how an interactive product demo works—in this case, a 3D video of a reefer container by PinkSquare that shows how the container operates. Viewers can rotate it, open it, and check out its features.

Videos and other interactive elements can be used in conjunction with audio and text, or they can be used as a visual only.

Interactive Content: Multimedia Presentations

Options for including multimedia elements in your presentation are numerous. Here are a few things you may consider adding:

  • Polls. Your presentation can briefly switch to a quiz or poll window that asks your audience relevant questions about the information included so far. It will keep them more involved and encourage them to watch more carefully.
  • Interactive infographics. Data visualizations encourage people to dive into your content and explore. They work especially well if you're presenting big data sets or aiming to illustrate trends in a clear and compelling way. In fact, 85% of B2B marketers are already using or plan to use interactive infographics as part of their marketing strategy, according to a report by DemandGen.
  • Interactive video. Video is another great way to break up a presentation and illustrate points through a visual format. Tip: Make sure the video plays at regular speed and audio volume on the virtual platform you'll be using to present.

Interactive Content: Gamification

Combine educational elements with interactive games to make learning and discovery more attention-grabbing. Gamification can be both an alternative to in-person events and an addition to virtual events and tradeshows.

Adding elements of gamification will also add a sense of competition to your presentation that will increase excitement.

You can include games in your presentation in various ways. The easiest and most obvious is to include quizzes, which is something we already touched on. But here are some ideas to make your presentation even more exciting:

  • Give it a gameshow element. Have participants compete against each other to win points for their answers. You can reward the best players with gift cards for relevant products, content, or merch (feel free to "steal" that approach from B2C world—it works nicely to drive interest and engagement). Freebies are a great way to further promote your business while making your presentation fun.
  • Make it interactive. Another idea is to feature a game that shows users how a product works. With the right type of software, you can share a screen that allows viewers to control components with their mouse and turn products on, move them, and "use" them in a virtual format.
  • In-house scavenger hunts. You don't always need software to add gamification to your presentation. You can also have audiences do something on their end, such as searching their home or office for an object that's red, or any item with a specific description. Tip: It's a good idea to make the object they are looking for tie into your presentation. Activities such as those make ideal opener ice breakers.

Time for Q&A

Something as simple as leaving time for Q&A can make your presentation more exciting. Try to answer all the questions and concerns your group may have. but if you are working with a larger group, you may have to set aside time to answer their questions after the meeting.

* * *

Static images and regular voiceovers are not enough to win at a virtual tradeshow. Take advantage of multimedia elements and interactive experiences to take your digital presentations to the next level.

More Resources on Interactive Content

How to Build Interactive Content to Achieve Your Digital Marketing Goals

10 Best-Practices in Planning and Marketing Virtual Events

Five Interactive Content Tools to Engage Your Audience and Generate Leads

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Four Ways to Use Interactive Content to Succeed at Virtual Tradeshows

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image of Thomas Sugar

Thomas Sugar is the CEO and a co-founder of PinkSquare, a 3D animation company that makes it simple and affordable to create effective visual marketing content for technical products.

LinkedIn: Thomas Sugar

image of Emma Conlan

Emma Conlan is the content marketing manager at PinkSquare, a 3D animation company that creates visual marketing content for technical products.