Not to be defeated by venue closure and manufacturing lockdown, our Chinese events are providing customers with a virtual route through the crisis and towards recovery.

Whilst coronavirus has had a traumatic impact on the events industry, it has also highlighted just how important trade exhibitions are to suppliers and buyers who depend on them for their sales and supply chain.

China was the first country to confront the issue of venue closure and city lockdown and RX Global was quick to act. Within two weeks our China team were delivering free virtual webinars and business meetings across six of their events, including Packcon, Nepcon China and CDATF, to help customers sustain their business through the crisis.

“As soon as the scale of the crisis became apparent, we knew we had a responsibility to help our customers through it” says E-Business Director Trevor Tang, who led the charge on the virtual conference digital delivery. “But even we were surprised by the high level of customer demand. One of our sessions, for China Gifts Fair (Shenzhen), drew 14, 321 registered attendees!”

Most of the early webinars focused on much-needed strategies for surviving business lockdown and preparing for recovery. Now, as restrictions are starting to be lifted, RX Global is providing exhibitors with a virtual platform to present their products to buyers, and a virtual matchmaking service to facilitate one2one meetings.

“Having been forced to postpone several shows, we wanted to provide value and sales leads for our exhibitors and buyers in the run up to our rescheduled events” explains Jennifer Wang, Senior Strategic Marketing Director, RX Global China. “Whilst the Chinese government has encouraged factories to resume manufacturing from the beginning of March, supply chains have been severely disrupted and many companies don’t have the raw materials or components to restart.”

Reed Exhibition China’s TAP (Targeted Attendee Program) team have been hard at work identifying buyer needs, connecting them with suitable suppliers, and organising virtual meetings on WeChat, AliBaba TEAMtalk or Tencent, depending on their preferences.

They have been running promotions on the social media platforms to encourage buyer participation: by scanning the QR code buyers can download an online form and submit their purchase needs. And they have also been promoting successfully concluded deals on WeChat to improve confidence and optimism in their markets and events.

At the time of writing, the China team had facilitated 445 online meetings and delivered over 71 webinars to nearly 210,000 customers.

“We have learnt so much in just a few short weeks about how to deliver effective webinars, and use social media to connect our exhibitors and buyers, generating high levels of customer satisfaction, loyalty and goodwill in the process” affirms Tang. “Best of all, we have gained valuable customer data and insights to enrich our physical events, and a growing database of engaged buyers that we are now working to convert into attendees when our shows reopen for business.”