AIS virtual exhibition starts up

 AIS virtual exhibition starts up
Mr Pratthana at the launch event for AIS’s Thailand Virtual Expo.

Leading mobile operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) has launched the first virtual exhibition in Thailand to bring an immersive experience to audiences and promote smartphones, gadgets and other items, as the pandemic is fuelling the hybrid online-offline trend for exhibitions.

Thailand Mobile Expo, the country’s largest smartphone trade show, is scheduled to take place from July 2-5 at Bitec and is following that trend by organising a hybrid online-offline event for the first time this year.

AIS’s Thailand Virtual Expo kicked off yesterday and runs until Friday.

“This first virtual exhibition is aimed at helping the economic recovery through the company’s digital platform, while bringing a new immersive experience to shoppers,” Pratthana Leelapanang, AIS’s chief consumer business officer, said at the virtual conference yesterday.

The event can serve buyers across the country and address social distancing, which has become an expectation, he said.

At this event, phone makers and distributors will work together to offer special promotions every hour on the “mobile hall” virtual platform.

Delivery will be made on the same day if orders are made before noon and in 48 hours for upcountry, said Mr Pratthana. If a contract needs to be signed for smartphone package applications, electronic signatures will be used.

The virtual expo can be accessed via throughout the five-day event, around the clock. The event offers 360 degrees in 2D, 3D or immersive experiences through the use of virtual reality glasses.

He said the event presents two other virtual halls for food and lifestyle products, with more than 500 small and medium-sized enterprises engaged.

Millions of online visitors are expected throughout the event, said Mr Pratthana.

He said the online channel will complement offline, but cannot replace offline totally. The virtual expo will be the company’s first step for its new business model in this marketplace.

Opas Cherdpunt, managing director of M Vision, the organiser of Thailand Mobile Expo, said it will run online trade events on Lazada and Shopee platforms, targeting 5G smartphones and tablets.

Lazada and Shopee will offer promotional campaigns, including a 1,000-baht discount for a product priced 7,000 baht. Buyers can pick up products they bought online on-site.

Referring to the mobile expo, Mr Opas said the show space will shrink 30% from events in the past, while only distributors and dealers will be present because of the impact of the pandemic.

Customer sentiment, he said, is hard to predict, but those who have smartphones that are more than two years old and face problems with handsets may want to replace them.

Mr Opas said if sentiment still does not recover in the fourth quarter, the company may stop holding the expo at Bitec.

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