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VirtualXpo: a technological companion to trade shows

Red Square Audio founder Paul Nicholson has teamed up with industry veterans Jay Green and David Baker to form VirtualXpo, a start-up with plans to change the way technology manufacturers do business.

UK-based VirtualXpo is a new digital media brand with plans to radically change the way technology manufacturers and service companies do business.

After a year of research and planning, the company is preparing to launch its VX ‘super app,’ which provides a multimedia marketplace in which any company can exhibit and anyone can attend, wherever they happen to be in the world.

“We didn’t think we were getting enough traction from the trade show model and we wanted to create a better route to market,” said founding MD Paul Nicholson (pictured, centre). “We had this Eureka moment where we decided to go virtual. It shouldn’t be a trade show, it should be a companion to a trade show.”

According to the company the VX app – slated for release on New Year’s Day 2013 – will “empower a whole new world of interactive marketing possibilities that span an exhibition, trade publication, information exchange, knowledge hub, product showcase, advertising billboard and B2B networking site rolled into a dynamic, single-destination online source that can be visually tailored to individual specification”.

The VirtualXpo directors launched the concept at PLASA 2012, where they were quick to emphasis that it “is not about an online trade show, it’s about digital multimedia marketing”. “We’re not a competitor to PLASA, we would want to be a partner [for instance],” said Nicholson. “We’re here with PLASA’s blessing. It’s about condensing all the marketing down to one resource. So you can find an industry and its companies in one place.

VX is a cross industry generic marketing solution.” Jay Green, VirtualXpo’s sales director (pictured, left) added: “It has always been difficult to accurately gauge the numbers of visitors and readers who are genuinely interested in your products and services. It’s therefore nigh on impossible to calculate return on investment. With the VirtualXpo model, however, visitor traffic is rendered completely transparent through our sophisticated analytics data. What you’ll see is a true picture.”

Red Square Audio (RSA), a distributor for APG, Apex Audio and Innovason in the UK, was set up by Nicholson in 2009: “Red Square Audio will be closed by the end of the year. I’m still doing some consulting, and mixing a few bands, but for us, as a media company, we’re moving into new areas.”

David Baker, VirtualXpo’s creative director (pictured, right) added: “Next move is to build momentum towards the launch of the app in January. We’ve monitored marketing patterns for some time and have seen them struggle against the pace of the 21st century. As a result, we have found the solution to keeping up with the speed of change and the heightened demands that go with it. This is an exciting journey that we are looking forward to sharing.”