Manolita Moore, MBA, is Vice President, Exhibit Sales and Operations of NAVC. She is also a Germinder20 Power of Pink Honoree who we interviewed two years ago. A technical wiz and industry leader, we caught up with Manolita Moore about the VMX Virtual Expo, announced this week and opening virtually next month, January 8th. While VMX is still rapidly signing up sponsors, Moore took time to answer questions about the platform with her usual exuberant outlook. She and the VMX team will showcase it live next month. We’ll be there! — Lea-Ann Germinder, editor.
Congratulations on the VMX Virtual Expo launch and yet another innovation from NAVC. What has been the general response from the veterinary industry and the profession?
VMX Virtual was launched a little over a month ago and so far the response has been very positive. There has been an immediate response to the technology and the long-term potential of the entire platform. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., a long-time industry partner of NAVC has officially signed up as our inaugural sponsor and their virtual booth is currently in production.
Will you have other exhibitors signed up before VMX?
In addition to Hill’s, Sedecal and Bella Veterinary Medical Solutions have also officially signed up. A number of other exhibitors have inquired and are in the process of signing up. We expect many more exhibitors will participate once they see the capability of the platform during or after VMX 2020.
What is the experience like?
VMX Virtual provides a truly unique, interactive, and immersive experience. It is modeled like Netflix where you can easily search for companies and be able to search for products and services using keywords or product names. Visitors can touch the screen, immerse themselves, and visit the different links that are available. It is very similar to playing video games, and at the same time, it is entertaining to move around the platform. You can leave a message with the exhibitor or you can interact with them if they choose to have a live person available. Visitors are also able to obtain the latest and greatest product news, discounts, and even booth freebies.
As an exhibitor, you can promote and sell your products and services, online 24/7, 365 days per year in front of the NAVC/VMX global community (500,000+). Exhibitors have the ability to engage and secure leads from existing and prospective VMX attendees, and with the robust analytics, exhibitors are able to accurately measure the return on their investment (ROI).
How does each exhibitor update their booth content?
Each exhibitor has access to their own dashboard to upload their content and be able to see their analytics. Our technology partner, Simulocity, has a dedicated team to manage the collection and placement of exhibitor content.
Are all VMX exhibitors represented in the virtual hall?
During the initial launch on January 8th, all VMX 2020 exhibitors will be listed in the VMX Virtual Directory. However, those who are signed up for the virtual expo will be highlighted and attendees will be able to visit their virtual booths.
NAVC has had an incredibly successful traditional VMX conference. Why did you choose to launch this virtual format now?
VMX is currently the largest and the most highly anticipated veterinary conference in the world. However, like with any trade show, not everyone from one organization is able to attend due to time and financial constraints. VMX Virtual will serve as an extension to our VMX Live event, particularly for those who are unable to attend and for those who do not have enough time during the conference itself to see everything they want to see. With VMX Virtual, engagement and business interactions continue before, during, and after the conference. VMX Virtual also provides more time for attendees to engage with exhibitors one-on-one.
What is the cost for a potential exhibitor for the virtual hall versus a traditional booth?
The pricing is based on the size of the booth and the level of benefits that come with each booth. The booth sizes are small, medium, large, VIP, or custom. A custom booth allows us to bring an actual booth to life versus using our own booth templates.
A small booth is equivalent to our 10×10 or 100 square feet standard booth. However, virtual booths have higher or longer exposure — 365 days a year as compared to the typical 3 days of a traditional exhibit.
How do you see this type of technology ultimately being a positive and benefiting the pet owner?
VMX Virtual allows veterinary professionals access to our VMX exhibitors year-round. If veterinary professionals have access to current products and services, it also means they will be seeing the latest products and innovations in the veterinary industry throughout the year from a trusted organization such as NAVC. By having easier and faster access to this type of information, veterinary professionals will save time, money, and be able to focus and provide better care for their patients.
NAVC is the first to have this technology in veterinary medicine, and in the trade show industry. Who else has the technology?
NAVC has exclusive rights and we are the first to use this technology in the veterinary industry. While the platform is the first of its kind in the world, the engine behind this technology is powered by our partner, Simulocity, LLC, who has used this technology in human healthcare and military institutions. Simulocity, LLC, is based in Orlando, Florida, and is an award-winning technology firm.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for this interview. VMX Virtual will be a game-changer. I believe it will transform how NAVC will engage our exhibitors and attendees and the rest of the global veterinary community for years to come. It’s the first of its kind in the world and I am so fortunate to be bringing it and leading it for NAVC.