Exhibiting at trade shows is an important way for the Postal Service to connect with customers, but the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to that practice for now.
USPS typically exhibits at 30-45 trade shows a year, but 27 of them have been canceled so far.
“Each trade show generates 300-plus sales leads for us,” said James Jones, sales outreach manager at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “So we needed a new outlet to reach customers, to have a venue that allows us to connect to businesses and clients.”
The Postal Service’s sales team came up with a solution: a virtual trade show booth.
Visitors to USPSvirtualbooth.com, which went live in June, can learn about Informed Delivery, direct mail and shipping services, among other offerings.
The site also has videos, games and a feature that lets visitors create and share a virtual postcard with their photo on it.
Customers are given several opportunities to request more information about postal products and services.
The virtual booth is a replica of the popular booth that the Postal Service uses at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Since the virtual booth went live, it has generated 100 leads with a total value of $25 million and has resulted in $140,000 in sales.
The sales team is working to bring more visitors to the site through email and social media campaigns and hopes to draw in people that would not necessarily have gone to a trade show.
Trade show industry observers express hope that shows will return in October or November, and if they do, USPS will have a presence.
But for now, it is a virtual and socially distanced sales world.
“We got ahead of the ball on this by starting work on the virtual booth in March,” Jones said. “As it stands, our competitors and others in the industry have not done anything similar.”
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