< Back to Newsroom

Quantify Your Target Audience at Trade Shows

Do you plan on marketing your business at trade shows and other events this year? If so, it’s time to start collecting data and getting to know your target audience. 

When you take the time to quantify and analyze your audience, it’s easier to create an effective marketing plan and see better results.

This guide explains how you can quantify your target audience at trade shows to set clear goals and improve your return on exhibiting investment.

Why Quantify Your Target Audience?
Let’s say a trade show welcomes approximately 10,000 guests each year. That doesn’t mean you should be trying to target all 10,000 of them with your exhibit.

Some of these guests are press, some are other exhibitors in your industry, and some aren’t interested in the products or services you’re selling. In reality, a smaller percentage of attendees will actually fit into your target audience.

If you know roughly how many people you’re trying to reach — and what separates them from other attendees — you can fine-tune your marketing strategy and create a clear path to achieving your goals.

Quantifying your target audience also helps you determine how much you should spend, which increases your chance of seeing a return on your investment.

How to Quantify Your Target Audience
Now, let’s get into the exact process of quantifying your target audience. Here are some steps you can take before your next big show:

Calculate the Number of Attendees
Start by determining how many people attended the last show.

Reach out to the show’s management team members and ask for data and analytics from past events. Ask them to clarify how many people at the event were staff, media, and exhibitors.

The remaining number is the total of non-exhibiting attendees.

Break Down Attendees into Smaller Groups
Once you know how many non-exhibiting attendees participated in the past show, you can start dividing that group into smaller ones. After all, not every attendee will be interested in your business as a potential customer. 

Contact the show’s management and ask for more information about the non-exhibiting attendees.

What kind of business are they in? Are they retailers? Professionals in a particular field (such as healthcare)?

This information helps you further narrow down the number of people who are likely to buy (or at least have an interest in) the products or services you’re selling.

Identify Viable Leads 
After you have a clearer idea of how many attendees are potentially part of your target audience, the next step is to narrow down that number even more and identify the most viable leads. 

Consider factors that might influence the number of people visiting your business’s booth, such as the number of direct competitors on the floor with you or the average purchasing authority the attendees have.

You’ll have to do some guessing during this stage. However, you can use the numbers collected in the previous steps to estimate more accurately. 

Set Clear Goals 
After you’ve estimated the number of viable leads you’ll have at the upcoming event, you can start setting clear and realistic goals for yourself and your team. 

Be sure your goals are specific and measurable. Clarify how many people’s contact information you’d like to collect or the number of sales you want to make. 

These goals should be realistic — lofty enough to challenge you but not so big that they’re impossible to achieve.   

Get to Know Your Target Audience Better 
You’ve quantified your target audience, but that doesn’t mean your research is over. 

Now that you've determined how many people are in your target audience, the next step is figuring out the best ways to connect with them to achieve your goals. 

Here are some additional steps you can take to get to know your target audience better:   

  • Analyze current customers: Learn about their average age, gender, race, career, interests, income level, pain points, etc. 
  • Study your competitors' customers: Get to know their target audience and research their strategy for appealing to them 
  • Review buyer personas: Consider potential trade show attendees who match your buyer personas 

You can also use the information you’ve collected from evaluating your target audience to choose the best shows in the future. Look for shows that appeal to your ideal customer and will connect you to a more significant number of potential buyers. 

Start Planning Your Next Trade Show Today
Now that you know how to quantify your target audience — and why it’s essential to do so — it’s time to get to work! 

Follow the steps discussed above to familiarize yourself with your audience demographics and create the best marketing plan for your ideal customers. 

Click here to learn how to use surveys to measure exhibiting performance.