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ISC virtual booth experience: the next generation of exhibition areas communication in times of COVID-19

The ISC-HPC is one of the most impactful European industrial events dedicated to HPC, connecting more than three thousand practitioners and users, and including about 160 exhibitors. This year the conference went live, where SODALITE presented a project poster, but the planned exhibition did not happen, all due to the new situation brought by COVID-19 pandemics. To leverage this loss into an opportunity, SODALITE prepared an original remote booth experience, happening parallel to the conference.

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The main part of the event was the webinar #2 where the SODALITE experts presented the live demos of the most recent and much exciting SODALITE technology. During the event we used the opportunity to focus on HPC, which is an important part of the project. This focus spread out through the SODALITE social media channels. It was an exciting time to prepare and present an HPC-focused project poster at the event and we need to share that excitement. This remote booth experience was an original idea of the SODALITE team, had good feedback, and some exposure on the media external to the project, including HPC wire. With this successful event we have learned a few things and will consider improved remote participation in events even after the pandemics. The presence of SODALITE in the ISC-HPC 2021 with a booth in the industrial exhibition is already confirmed and we are looking forward to it. Book the date: ISC High Performance 2021 - June 27 to July 1, in Messe Frankfurt (Hall 3 and Forum). Our booth number is #L-233, you can’t miss it. Additionally, in this issue of our BLOG, we want to share with you some tips to build an effective and simple booth which will facilitate staying in contact with your stakeholders, despite the distance. This is how we thought at the beginning of our outstanding idea of offering a virtual booth, there is no doubt that the future of networking will be based on good and optimal online connections. To start, there are some questions you may be wondering about to kick off your virtual stand. Why virtual events? What includes a virtual booth? What do you need for success? In response to: Why virtual events? The current situation affected by the COVID-19 is the best scenario to realize that there is a way to decrease travel expenses, printed materials and other derived costs of a physical meeting or fair by using other venues such as online connections only in networking areas where there is an interesting value if attending. A huge amount of companies will see this as an opportunity to grow while creating worldwide connections in virtual events which they could have ever imagined their participation in. The best option, as always, is a balance among virtual and physical, probably after the COVID-19 episode the popularity of going all virtual will thrive for a while, so this is our opportunity to make a difference in the H2020 program of tech projects. Moving forward to the next question; What includes a virtual booth? If in your team there are no experts in web design, you will be done! The first thing you need to ensure is the participation in your team of experts who can deploy your virtual booth quickly and easily by following the creative and marketing experts’ instructions. In this sense, the virtual booth will be an interactive space on your website that for some time will be available to interact with your audience. However, when you get a bold design the next step is to fill out all of the items and features to harmonize the user experience. Don’t forget that this is a usual booth but virtual, gamification strategies and techniques may help you as well as common sense to bring your audience understandable content and responses. Last but not least; What do you need for success? Well, every project is different, every audience is not different... There is a way to enrich your virtual booth, and this can be reachable by doing a good digital promotion, elaborating ad hoc mailing campaigns, social media plan with its calendar and content, and identifying key words or hashtags to endorse the event. Additionally, paid campaigns in the most visited social media where your audience is present can make the trick but of course this idea relies on the general budget for marketing activities across the whole life of the project, not always being possible to get. We invite you to follow our Blog, Newsletter and Social Media, all the relevant milestones of the project will be shared via these channels.

Keywords

booth, virtual events, ISC20, communication, covid19, exhibition, networking