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Don’t Forget About These Trade Show Attendee Traits


In-person marketing can be extremely effective when a well-thought sales plan is put in place. However, focusing on the human aspect during trade shows is where some exhibitors fall short – don’t let that be you!

While many exhibitors will put so much time and effort into making their booth look flashy with intentions of standing out, they don’t put this same effort into training their booth staff to hit a home run with attendees. While an attractive exhibit is the best starting point to entice guests to step inside your booth, your ROI will only be as successful as the sales plan you have in place for once you have their attention.

Before speaking successfully to a group of qualified buyers, it is important to know a few things about them first. Here is a list of must-knows about trade show attendees that will keep your trade show staff on their toes and your marketing plan set on a track toward success.

It is important to start off with WHY attendees come to trade shows in the first place.
The number one reason for people to attend trade shows is to see and experience new products. You will find this across the board throughout many studies. This has been true for the past 25 years, so it will always be beneficial to adjust your marketing plan accordingly by giving attendees what they came to do. Letting them have hands-on experiences with your products and great experiences with your brand will better help them decide if you are their perfect fit.

With 92% of attendees searching for new products, that makes your chances of generating sales extremely high (with the right selling points). Teaching your trade show staffers to gauge the quality of a buyer is extremely important, as they will need to know what selling points to touch on and where to take the conversation to close a deal.

With around 80% of attendees having buying power, the stakes are high at trade shows. Coming prepared will ensure that your business is doing what it can to compete. With face-to-face interactions, you already have a one-up on the brands that the show attendees have only engaged with online. Take advantage of this relationship-building opportunity with a plan that sets your team up for success.

Trade show attendees want to make the most of their time at trade shows.
This is extremely important to remember when planning for sales pitches and experiences within your booth space. The last thing you want to do is annoy an attendee by acting like they have all the time in the world and dancing around the point of your conversation.

Keep things to the point and train your booth staff to watch for cues. Presentations and product demonstrations should be kept under 20 minutes, as research shows that the first 20 minutes are what people tend to remember. Keeping someone in a conversation when they are ready to move on to another booth might frustrate an attendee, so reading body and facial cues will be very helpful!

Another way to be respectful of an attendee’s time is to make sure they are not waiting to be helped. If your booth is understaffed, attendees may have to wait their turn, leaving you with frustrated guests who might just move on to be helped elsewhere. Come prepared with a strong team that is also large enough to keep up with your anticipated booth traffic.

Just like any buyer, trade show attendees want to become familiar with a brand before making a purchase.
This is one of the top reasons for businesses to exhibit at trade shows – to grow their exposure. While some attendees may be familiar with your business, there will be some who are not familiar with it at all. No matter where a buyer is at in their journey, they like to have a sense of familiarity and trust with a brand before making any big decisions.

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to build that trust. And while a buyer who just learned about you for the first time at a trade show may not make their decision to buy from you right then and there, it is still extremely important to share your marketing message and acquaint them with your brand. Trade shows are arguably the best way to introduce someone to your brand since you will have full reign on how this first experience will go.

Research has shown that a buyer needs to hear a message at least 7 times before they fully retain it and are influenced by it to make a purchase. Be sure that you are keeping your trade show messaging consistent with the rest of your marketing so that they recognize your brand and offerings the next time they cross your path. Include this messaging in your team’s sales pitches, graphics, and any messaging in your booth. And don’t forget to share this same messaging on your website and social media!

Warming up your audience and creating a sense of familiarity for them will help them feel confident when they are ready to make a purchase.

Overall, know your audience, anticipate what is going to get their attention, and what drives their decisions. Thinking about this when creating your exhibit and marketing plan will keep branding consistent. If you are in need of a booth display that is able to accommodate your audience and share your message well, Skyline Exhibits can help!