DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will virtual conferences be a temporary solution addressing current realities or permanently replace many in-person events? What do you see as the keys to producing successful virtual conferences?

Interactive Edge’s CEO, Zel Bianco comments, featured on RetailWire’s Braintrust :

When we get back to what may look like normal, there will be a mix of regular trade shows and virtual ones. When we feel more comfortable, most of us will be anxious to get back to some level of social interaction and that includes trade shows and conferences. I agree with some of my fellow BrainTrust commentators that using all your senses cannot be replaced virtually. This is especially true with trade shows like NACS, Expo West, Fancy Food Show and more where buyers want to feel, taste and smell products they may want to buy. This, of course, will present challenges like individually wrapping each product to be tried, etc., but we will find a way.

I also agree that it will be a good excuse for CFOs to say no to trade shows but perhaps organizers need to consider making them regional so that expenses can be controlled.

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