Tips From The CEIR On Attracting New Attendees

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently released a report revealing important tips on how to best attract new attendees to a trade show. If you’re an exhibitor or exhibition manager, you’ll want to check it out. It will help you get the most out of the trade show experience, and pull in new leads and prospective partners. Did you have the chance to read the report? If not, let’s delve into the major points raised by the report.


The Survey


Data was gathered from a survey of 421 exhibition attendees representing 14 different industries, with the goal of determining how many of those surveyed were considered new attendees. The people who were considered new were analyzed to see which characteristics they had in common with each other. This provided insight as to the types of people who choose to check out a trade show exhibit, and how you can employ methods to attract these people to your booth for the very first time.


Decision Makers


Many things were revealed when the data was analyzed. It was discovered that of the new attendees, 15 percent of them plan on attending more trade shows this year. What’s more, those who said they planned on visiting more shows this year said that they don’t stick to visiting the same shows year after year. Basically, they enjoy checking out new trade shows from time to time. This just proves that your efforts at getting people to the show are of great importance – more new attendees checking out your custom display results in great word-of-mouth leads who will show up at the next show to see what you have to offer! It also means you’ll want to have an effective booth display and marketing materials.


An important tidbit highlighted by the study: new attendees are most often the decision makers within their organization. And that number increases when you are talking about the number of people planning on visiting more shows this year – this group was two times as likely to be the decision makers in their business as those who don’t plan on filling up their calendars with trade shows.


Why They’re Heading To The Trade Show


When you’re trying to draw in a crowd composed of new potential customers, where do you start? There are many different ways to get the attention of those who might find the trade show useful, but wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what draws them there? The participants in the survey were asked to reveal what is the deciding factor when they make the choice to attend a trade show for the first time. On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being very unimportant and 7 being very important, these were the top six reasons:


Reputation of the event – 5.16

Ability to network with colleagues – 5.13

Get specific information for issues and decisions pertinent to their business – 5.11

Quality of speakers – 5.07

Size focused on needs of specific industry sector – 5.03

Value for the money – 5.01


This information can be quite useful to you, no matter if you are an exhibition manager dealing with vendors who set up at your show or the person setting up a booth at the trade show. For those setting up a booth, you should focus on the information you are providing to make sure it is relevant to your industry at that specific time, and be in touch with the trends and concerns visitors to your booth will have. For most, quality is more of a concern than price. They’d rather an informative experience than save a few bucks. What’s more, review the content of the materials you’ll be handing out to make sure you’re reaching out to the decision makers appropriately.


How They Decide To Head To The Trade Show


So are these people choosing to attend of their own will, or was their a catalyst? Why did that person go to one show but not the other? Again, relying on a rating scale of 1 to 7, they asked participants to rate the sources of information they relied on to make the decision whether or not to attend.


Email from colleague also attending or thinking of attending – 4.95

Invitation from vendor – 4.88

Word-of-mouth – 4.80

Internet search – 4.70

Email from organization or organizer’s website – 4.63


Do you see why word-of-mouth is so important? People tend to take recommendations from those they know and trust rather than choosing to go because they received an invitation from the exhibit organizer. They would also rather trust the vendor than the organizer! People trust those they know or those they’ve done business with, and if they trust you and they’re looking forward to it, they’ll probably ask a friend or colleague to go along with them. Be sure you aren’t just reaching out to those you don’t know. Send out an email to your existing customers as well as those who’ve stopped by your booth in the past. You might be surprised to see they bring along a new face or two!


Do these insights help you at all in your efforts to bring in new prospects? Contact us, we’d love to help you maximize the results of your efforts!

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