Understanding attendee is crucial to optimizing trade show results for your company. Once you have grasped what is happening with attendees, it makes your job easier when it comes to delivering value and things of interest for them at the trade show. Delivering value and creating interest is essential as any sales or marketing person knows – once you have that interest, it becomes easier to engage in detailed business discussions which lead to negotiations and placing orders.
Ultimately, this is the bottom line for trade shows – winning orders!The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) compiles data on the trade show industry and this is what it has to say on attendee behavior:
65% of attendees return year after year – these attendees are mainly company buyers who are using trade shows as a primary source of information on what is available in the market. Just as exhibitors recognize that qualified buyers are going to be attending in concentrated numbers, the reverse is true for buyers looking at comparing and contrasting different solutions and providers.
76% of attendees have an agenda – as economic conditions have constrained budgets, this has resulted in many cuts being made by companies sending people to trade shows. Attendees are typically visiting fewer shows and staying for less time, which means that they have to pack the same amount of work into a shorter amount of time – they have to be more efficient. Using an agenda keeps them on track and helps them to target companies before they attend which they want to see – this makes pre-event marketing even more important for exhibitors.
55% of attendees intend to network – while these attendees may not be looking to satisfy an immediate need, they are certainly looking to expand their horizons and gain new contacts with the potential to engage in transacting business in future.
53% attend for continuing professional and educational accreditation – “CPD” or continuing professional development is a common theme for virtually all industries which carry certifications as a prerequisite for operating within it. Offering seminars or educational sessions which can be used to count towards CPD credits is a great way to attract attendees to your trade show presence.