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Bringing Communities Together with Virtual Events

Industry Trade Events

Trade shows have long been a feature in the CAD and manufacturing industry. Trade shows and events are a big part of our year and we have always loved attending trade events around the world.

Throughout October and November, our time is spent usually attending SOLIDWORKS launch events.

Last year we attended 53 SOLIDWORKS launch events, in 14 countries held by 22 different resellers.

How the Pandemic Has Changed Things in 2020

Most in-person events have been cancelled this year.

Although we can’t be attending events in person, technology and innovation has enabled us to use web-based platforms to hold virtual events.

From virtual conference centres to live chats taking place on an online booth, there’s been a really positive adoption of technology.

Whereas before online events might have seemed daunting starting a conversation with a stranger through the screen, now it seems completely normal!

Now more than ever we have got used to joining meetings from our own homes, using our webcams and microphones, engaging with others without a handshake to introduce ourselves.

Benefits of Digital Events

We love attending events in person and being able to catch up with our resellers, customers and many more people in the community. However, we have also found lots of great benefits of attending events virtually.

When we are usually attending trade events it would mean booking flights, hotels and other costly business expenses. Now, all we need is a laptop and a coffee to join!

This new era of events are meaning huge savings for businesses, not only saving money but also time.

Events online are much less time-consuming.

Before when visiting a trade show no matter where in the world, it meant time was needed to travel to and from that destination, with enough time to set up our booth.

Now we can join the event from anywhere in the world!

Normally during this time of year, our team would be heading out all around the world to attend our reseller’s SOLIDWORKS launch events.

Although it’s a huge shame we can’t be there, it has worked well joining the events online.

Even with language barriers and time differences we’ve managed to attend events around the world.

We’ve also found that we have more of our team members joining these events.

Normally it would be a small group heading out to these events, especially ones further afield.

But now we’re able to have as many team members as we want to join us on the booth, answering questions, presenting and networking.

For many members of the team who wouldn’t normally get to attend these events – it’s been a great chance for them to get involved.

Virtual events have also brought us the ability to join multiple events. We can now do the impossible – be in two places at once.

We no longer have to worry about schedule clashes and making sure we can attend both.

From the events we’ve attended we have seen just a handful of the different types of virtual event software there are on the market.

From the Vfairs Platform to Accelevents and many more we have seen there’s a huge range of capability and flexibility in what the software can offer.

Some offer a very realistic look and feel of a traditional trade show, with a reception lobby, an auditorium and exhibit hall. By clicking around an attendee has the ability to navigate themselves around.

Similar to real-life events, vendors have their own booths set up with videos, data sheets and details about their products advertised. Attendees can visit these booths to learn more and spark a conversation in the online chat.

Other kinds of software have more of a webinar-style layout where an attendee registers individually for the presentations or breakout sessions they would like to join.

Rather than a visual layout, the event is split up into web pages and still offers vendors their own space.

One of the features we particularly enjoyed was having a live video feed. It meant that while the event was taking place we could be giving live demonstrations of our software – like we would usually be doing on our booth.

Another feature we found useful was the ability to hold round table sessions, where members of our team could join with their webcam along with our reseller experts to answer any questions or start up a conversation around DriveWorks with anyone who wanted to join.

This type of set up made it feel much more like a real event and created a buzz around our booth.

Our Experience of Hosting a Virtual Event

Right at the beginning of lockdown, we reimagined our own annual technical training event DriveWorks World as a virtual one.

Hosting our event online enabled us to reach a much wider audience and gave more people from all over the world the opportunity to join in. It also meant we reduced travel, improved communities and engagement by increasing learning and networking opportunities for everyone.

Were already working on dynamic content for the next one in April 2021 whether its physical, virtual or blended.


Take a look at all upcoming webinars and see which events we are attending!