Previously scheduled as a live event in Las Vegas from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2020, SOURCING AT MAGIC had to shift gears due to the pandemic. Fulfilling the need for social distancing and health-consciousness, the three-month digital show that was originally intended as a companion to the live fair has now become the main event.
SOURCING at MAGIC Online will run from Sept. 15-Dec. 15, 2020. Intending to recreate the physical experience in an online environment, the show will span exhibitor profiles and educational content such as live and pre-recorded seminars, events and resources.
“With the uncertainty of the months to come, SOURCING at MAGIC Online provides exhibitors and buyers a way to connect and continue doing business,” said Andreu David, event manager for SOURCING AT MAGIC. “It was our mission to find the right solution for our customers to endure this challenging time in our industry and to be able to weather and persevere through it together.”
The digital platform will give buyers in attendance the chance to connect with manufacturers, suppliers and service providers when it is convenient for them. Connections can be made and messages can be sent 24/7, allowing exhibitors to conduct business round-the-clock and across time zones. The longer timeframe of the show also offers an extended opportunity to engage with prospects and generate leads.
Another benefit of transitioning online is the lack of geographical constraints. “I feel we will definitely open up our reach with our digital event,” noted David. “Due to the pandemic and forced travel restrictions, we predict that our buyers will come from all over—both domestically and internationally.”
Courtesy of the digital format, exhibitors will also have virtually limitless space to showcase goods and services rather than being confined to a set square footage of a booth. On the platform, exhibitors can build out their profile with company and product information, videos, imagery and more.
To get more attention for their digital booth, exhibitors can take advantage of sponsorship positions or featured listings.
The platform also offers exhibitors a chance to find new leads and seek out connections with desired buyers. A matchmaking tool powered by artificial intelligence enables exhibitors to input preferences for what types of buyers they would like to engage with. Similar to a dating app, this proprietary platform configuration automatically searches for buyers that fit an exhibitor’s ideal criteria.
Once a buyer and exhibitor connect, they can exchange messages within the platform, such as requesting samples or more information. SOURCING at MAGIC Online will also track visitors to an exhibitor’s profile, enabling them to compile lists of new prospects.
“We have already signed on some of our most loyal exhibitors and buyers, who have patiently stuck with us through these unimaginable times,” said David. “We are extremely grateful, and excited to give them the avenue to reach customers and support their businesses.”