Disruption of established business models is a synonym for innovation. Uber has put taxis to the test, Airbnb is keeping hotels on their toes, and the Exponeer system is taking aim at the exhibition industry – which Vaidas Saltenis, the startup’s founder, calls a stagnant pool of inefficiency, out of touch with the needs of today’s companies and technological possibilities.
“More than 30,000 traditional exhibitions of all sorts are organized each year around the world. People who’ve taken part in them know how much that costs a business and what a luxury it is, at times even forcing you to later raise your prices to try to recover the money you invested in a trade show,” says Exponeer’s CEO.
Most of what you spend on a traditional trade show, he notes, goes to the costs of making a company stand and paying for a space to install it. The Exponeer.com team has calculated that this alone on average eats up 80 percent of a company’s budget for an exhibition. Plus there’s travel and lodging, which are not cheap, if the exhibition happens to be abroad.
“The worst thing is that even after paying all that money, the organizers of an exhibition won’t give you any guarantee for either the number of visitors or the target audience,” Saltenis says, going on to explain how the idea for Exponeer came about: “I personally experienced what it means to invest 30,000 euros in an exhibition and get absolutely no benefit from it. Circumstances suddenly change and the event loses a lot of the potential visitors the organizers were so certain of when you bought your space. After that experience I started actively looking for alternatives to traditional exhibitions but quickly realized there’s almost nothing on the market.”
According to Saltenis, Exponeer differs from existing portals where you can also present products and services. None of the projects that have any similarity have so far managed to transfer the full experience and benefits of a real exhibition to the digital realm, he stresses.
“Those sites are often just ordinary product catalogues where it’s hard to get your bearings and find the latest information. The pages are also often swimming in all sorts of animation, distract visitors with irrelevant information, and aren’t good at facilitating live and direct interaction with the representatives of specific companies. We understand these problems, which is why we invested so much in making the platform convenient and informative.” Given the fact, that many companies are in need of a new and effective way to present their goods or services effectively for the biggest audience possible, he sees terrific growth potential for well designed and flawlessly developed Exponeer virtual exhibition platform.
Virtual company stands on the Exponeer system can be kept active all year round. In any one exhibition a company can have one stand and present up to 5 products. A company can take in an unlimited number of exhibitions if it wants, so the number of stands can be large.
The startup’s team says a variety of incentives will be offered to the owners of the best-designed virtual stands and those most responsibly looked after. Meanwhile, those who neglect to maintain their stands or register just to spread spam will be punished by a special Exponeer algorithm that drops lagging exhibitors to the bottom of the list or deactivates offenders’ stands.
But what the creators of this virtual exhibit platform seem to emphasize most is the colossal task performed by the system in structuring information about all exhibitions around the world. That enables users to quickly find the topics, countries and even cities they are interested in, and to travel in an instant from one exhibition to another.
Exponeer will help companies save time and money while enlarging their opportunities to promote products and services. Vaidas Saltenis is certain of that.
“Getting ready for a virtual exhibition takes ten times less time and significantly less manpower. Most of Exponeer’s services will be free of charge, so by investing a small amount you’ll be able to achieve much bigger results. The system also lets you overcome barriers of distance and time. Business people, for example, can fearlessly participate in virtual exhibitions and thus promote what they do in a far-away market that’s usually inaccessible to a lot of companies due to a lack of financial means,” the startup’s founder explains.
It took him two years to turn the idea into a real project – an alternative to the traditional exhibition that makes it possible to promote one’s company, products or services and find business expansion opportunities in a specific geographic area or anywhere around the globe.
According to Saltenis, users of Exponeer can make direct contact with potential business partners and interested customers. The platform is suitable both for small young companies that have good products and ideas but lack the money to take part in international exhibitions, and for large corporations and educational institutions.