Ziff Davis’ virtual trade show business has taken off since its 2004 launch that the company plans to hold six trade shows this year, that’s up from four in 2005 and just one in 2004, said Elliot Markowitz, editorial director, Ziff Davis Media eSeminars, this week.
Virtual trade shows are part of the company’s eSeminars business, the revenue for which has increased some 48 percent between the first quarter of 2005 and the first of quarter of this year, said Ziff spokesman Randy Zane. "We have 400 to 800 registrants for any given eSeminar and as high as 5,000 registrants for the tradshows," Markowitz said.
But virtual trade shows are not just popular for attendees, Zane said interest in the the shows from vendors and sponsors has grown enormously. The company is holding a custom trade show for Hewlett-Packard today with more than 24 booths.
Registrants pay no fee to attend the shows, which are run just like face-to-face tradeshows with keynote addresses, panels and specific tracks that attendees can follow. "The can pick and choose," Markowitz said. White papers are also available for download and interaction between registrants and sponsors is encouraged. "Most usually attend at least two sessions."
The shows also offer networking opportunities for registrants by allowing participants to reach out to other attendees, sponsors and speakers 30 days before the show and 90 days after, Markowitz said. Vendors and sponsors, in return for their support of the events, receive leads from the list of registrants, Markowitz said. For more on virtual trade shows and seminars, including who’s doing them and why see Folio:’s August issue.