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Trade Show Attendees: Is More Always Better?

We recently posted about a shift in trade shows away from the exclusivity of limiting attendance to only select individuals within the industry and towards opening up trade shows to more people and even the entire general public. This is one of those trade show ideas that appears to be catching on in many areas. However, there are also a few examples of trade shows and expos going the opposite way and increasing the exclusivity of their events in order to raise their profile and focus on what they see as ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’ of attendees.

Trade Show BoothTSNN (Trade Show News Network) recently reported on one such show. The SnowSports Industries America Snow Show which focuses on outdoor skiing and snowboarding sports, was the trade show that was spotlighted. The focus was on getting the right people to each exhibit booth, instead of just more people. The ‘right’ people being, more specifically, representatives of retailers that have high buying power.

In other words, the primary goal of the SIA Snow Show seems to be maximizing the buying power of their attendees and the amount that companies can sell to these people at their exhibit booth. This is one of those trade show ideas that is far from revolutionary at its base, but the fact that SIA is going all out with this quality vs quantity tactic is a bit novel.

In fact, SIA goes about this quite scientifically. They have created a Buying Power Index which measures the amount of buying power that is represented by all of the various attendees to the trade show and each trade show exhibits las vegas in aggregate. It also appears that these trade show ideas are working and SIA is meeting their goals, because the index is up by 80% during the past few years.

Another part of the shift towards quality over quantity for SIA was actually moving the trade show itself from Las Vegas to Denver. Representatives for the show say that this was one of the trade show ideas which helped increase the overall buying power, while the gross number of attendees actually shrunk.

SIA demonstrates that your trade show or your particular exhibit booth doesn’t just need to rely on volume of visitors, but rather should focus on the quality of these attendees overall.

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