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Tips for online events and platforms

Here’s how to establish export partnerships with virtual trade shows and platforms.

Taking advantage of virtual showcases and networking platforms

While in-person trade shows are likely to remain a key way of finding export partners, virtual trade shows and platforms are becoming increasingly popular.

They eliminate a number of the complexities associated with face-to-face events and significantly reduce costs. Importantly, they allow you to engage a global audience from the comfort of your own home.

Unlike virtual events that run on specific dates, always-on platforms such as Australian Wine CONNECT give you the opportunity to conduct business with international buyers, importers, distributors and media at any time. This new and unique way of doing business has proven successful in matching winemakers to retailers, importers and on-trade in the United States of America (USA), Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), Asia and beyond. 

There are a number of benefits to exhibiting on CONNECT, namely the opportunity to increase brand awareness, generate new leads and drive export sales. Your expo profile acts as a virtual showcase for your brand and allows buyers to see which markets you’re available in, where you’re seeking distribution and whether you offer services such as private label or bulk. Buyers can also access your product information and price lists, get your importer/distributor details and book meetings.

Australian Wine CONNECT

To see how to set up your computer for CONNECT virtual events and webinars, download this quick guide.

Fundamentals for virtual showcases

The fundamentals are the same for virtual showcases as they are in person. See these top tips for trade shows to learn how to best navigate buyer relationships and events. As with regular events, the way you position your product and conduct yourself online directly reflects on your brand. Whether you’re exhibiting at an online trade event or using an always-on platform, there are a number of things you can do to help make your participation a success.

Sign in regularly

Do your best to stay on top of messages and emails to ensure you don’t miss any opportunities. When it comes to virtual events, you may get an opportunity to begin scheduling meetings, or even networking in advance. 

Practice using the technology 

While most digital event platforms are relatively intuitive, you want to be confident you can use the technology to its full potential. Familiarise yourself with the functions, practice all the chat options and ensure you know how to capture and contact leads. Most event organisers offer useful training materials and training tutorials, so be sure to make the most of them. 

Invest in your expo space

Just like in an exhibition hall, first impressions count. Take time to craft your unique selling proposition and messaging, and use high-quality images and bottle shots. Ensure any brand assets you are using are up-to-date and accurately represent your brand.

Get set to video chat 

There’s no doubt virtual trade shows lack the benefits of face-to-face interactions. Real-time text or audio chat can help with Q&As and allow you to interact with people 1:1, but video chat is much closer to an in-person interaction. Get comfortable with this medium and have your key messages ready. Live webinars are another useful tool, allowing you to engage more people at once. Including a live Q&A session at the end of each webinar can help maximise engagement with specific individuals. 

Ensure your digital channels are fit for purpose

While third party platforms allow you to showcase your wines to the world, you also have the opportunity to further educate and nurture leads through your own digital channels. Be sure to embed relevant website links throughout and direct traffic to your website. 

Remember the networking never stops

Stay focussed on the goal: to increase your audience reach, boost networking opportunities and build on qualified leads. Be sure to capture contact details, then prioritise follow-up outreach. Because when used properly, with specific goals in mind, digital event platforms can be an extremely effective way to establish and nurture export relationships. 

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.