Virtual events have proved to be an effective medium to deliver content to attendees, but there’s still much to do in connecting buyers and sellers. In this article, you will look at how you can help buyers discover the right products and make an informed purchase decision.

While face-to-face has long been the preferred way for buyers to make their business purchases, the trend is shifting towards a multichannel sales approach to provide an omnichannel experience. Buyers want every convenient option available to find and buy products – in-person, virtual, or through online marketplaces.

Buyers want to inquire about items and make business decisions all year round rather than waiting for a three-day event window to open as the hybrid sales model gains popularity. From prospect to sale, the process is no longer one-way. Instead, if a customer has a question, organizers must respond with information and solutions.

How adopting a 365 model helps.

The first step in providing this omnichannel experience of connecting buyers and sellers is to create an online platform where buyers may look for pertinent items and content and communicate with suppliers throughout the year. In the evolution of the retail sector, where behemoths like Amazon have moved the buying experience from the in-store, bricks-and-mortar shop model to an online one, where buyers have control over what they want to buy and when they want to buy it, a “365” marketplace model for B2B markets has already been seen.

There are essentially two marketplace models that help enhances the buyer journey through product discovery:

  1. Marketplaces that generate leads: These follow the format of most events by facilitating a first business interaction. This business strategy often involves selling an exhibitor a membership or annual listing fee while they are present at an event.
  2. Transactional marketplaces: Commonly used in B2C sectors where e-commerce streamlines the whole order process. There is no upfront investment required from exhibitors because this model can operate on a commission basis.

Sponsorship and advertising

Promoting the exhibitors and their products across the event platform via high-visibility sponsorships is a crucial component of hosting a successful event. By promoting essential goods and items, this sponsored content can draw visitors to the exhibitors’ virtual booth. 

The emergence of online marketplaces is opening up new product discovery opportunities across various industries, offering benefits such as automating transactions and reducing costs through e-invoices, for example. Combined with the tools mentioned in this article, their role becomes more potent in accelerating the process of connecting buyers and sellers under one virtual roof.