08.27.20 | Associations

Bank Shot! A VirtuALL Trade Show Drives Revenue for Billiard Industry

Photo of the screen during the BCA Expo Business of Billiards

The Billiard Congress of America is dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry. A key asset of the BCA, and the  industry in general, is the annual BCA Expo. 

Crisis brings opportunity. As the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to host the industry’s signature annual event, the BCA was faced with cancelling its trade show or reimagining it to a virtual experience. With our guidance, the BCA created a virtual event that went far beyond only offering a technology platform, but also providing a much-needed education series for an industry that is destined to operate in a new normal both during and after the pandemic. 

TAKING THE SHOW ONLINE

Working with BCA leadership, our team enacted four key steps to support the industry and provide bottom-line benefits to members, vendors and sponsors: 

  1. Made it easy to participate: Given the industry’s overall technology comfort level, it was imperative to make the process of participating in the 2020 BCA VirtuALL Expo easy and user-friendly. This included the use of a single technology platform and no special software to download. In the weeks leading up to the event, we used many different tools to help participants understand how to participate, including online marketing, “How to register” social media infographics, and creation of a tutorial video that illustrated the platform’s functions and features. 
  2. Created a VirtuALL trade show experience: We provided concierge service to all exhibitors ito create their virtual exhibit spaces, from loading company information, to script and video development, and assistance with “call to action” messaging. We also created a “Know Before You Go” campaign with steps for exhibitors to have a successful trade show experience.  
  3. Geared webinars to content necessary for a “new normal”: Nearly every facet of the billiard business has had traditional customer acquisition paths blocked during the pandemic, so they’ve been forced to find new ways to reach these customers. New paths will require the use of technology, so we developed a series of educational seminars providing relevant strategic guidance for a changed customer journey. 
  4. Promoted the event to the entire industry, not just its membership: By creating an easy to participate experience and making it available to all businesses in the billiard and home recreation industry, the 2020 BCA VirtuALL Expo provided an opportunity to enhance BCA’s position as a beneficial organization to not only current members but also potential members. 

RESULTS

The VirtuALL Expo was enthusiastically embraced, and exceeded all expectations. In addition to attracting hundreds of members, 30 attendees were first-time attendees of the Expo. Our efforts to ensure ease of technology use also paid off, with more than 70 percent adoption of the mobile app. Online profiles received almost 1,700 views and attendees exchanged more than 1,000 messages during the virtual event. Most importantly, the Expo delivered on its value promise: more than 1,200 leads were generated for the exhibitors.

Need to take your show off the road and online? Learn more about our virtual meetings and events services.

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