With registrations similar to the numbers Martin Audio would expect to meet at a large international trade show, the British pro audio pioneer is pleased to declare its first ever virtual trade show a resounding success. The company held its event on 20 May, taking the form of three 90-minute webinars matched to different time zones.
“We achieved over 800 registrations for the event,” reveals James King, Martin Audio’s Director of Marketing. “To put that in context, this is the amount of people we would engage with at ISE or InfoComm in our demo room in a given week, and probably four times the amount we get to our UK Open Day events. So, this was a very efficient exercise.”
The virtual trade show gave Martin Audio the opportunity to speak in detail about its overall portfolio and how different systems can fit with different applications and budgets. It also provided a platform to highlight new products, such as the award-winning ADORN ceiling and pendant loudspeakers and three new subwoofers including two new cardioid subwoofers and punchy value for money double 18” sub.
“The format itself worked well with people being able to see both presenters and the presentation so as to make it more human, and there was opportunity also for an open Q&A on numerous topics that people wanted to discuss,” said King. “There was even some illuminating glimpses and hints about the future product roadmap that came out of that discussion.”
While the event was a success, the obvious drawback was attendees not being able to hear the loudspeakers that were being discussed. The current global situation makes that challenging to overcome, but there are methods which Martin Audio is looking at to build from this initial event.
“Our next jumping off point, dependent upon ability to have small and safe gatherings, will be to have a centralised show, professionally produced at our UK HQ that is then beamed to the ‘world’ but critically to global distributor demo rooms,” explained King. “This way people can gather in small safe environments to listen to the loudspeakers in the demo rooms. While markets might start to reopen, we believe international travel will be circumspect, so we see this as an opportunity as we move forward.”
In the immediate future, the manufacturer will continue to be active in the digital domain with its ongoing weekly webinars and participation in other types of virtual trade show, such as InfoComm Connected. “Having tried our own, there is no doubt there is a place for virtual meetings,” concluded King. “With events such as InfoComm Connected we have the opportunity to network with a wider sphere of people thanks to good digital platforms and easy access to attendees. But this is a people-first industry and there is nothing like the physical interaction and unity of a live event. It may take some time, but I believe we will see a delicate balance between physical and virtual shows in the future or indeed some hybrid solution.”