Key to increasing attendance at your tradeshow is understanding why people attend your show in the first place. You need to understand why attending your show would benefit your potential audience.
This sounds simple, but it’s something many associations take for granted. It’s worth reviewing your value proposition today – people have so many more options available to them.
Host a brainstorming 20 minute meeting with a few key team members, make sure everyone knows your meeting topic in advance and is prepared with 2-3 points to contribute.
Why would anyone want to attend my show? Here’s a few reasons:
Keep current with trends in our industry.
Attend seminars with lots of take-home value.
Meet prospective suppliers.
Scout for prospective employees.
Forge relationships with prospective partners.
Raise the visibility of our organization.
Do all of the above in a cost effective way.
For exhibitors, add these items to the list above:
Meet with current customers.
Leads! Attendees are prospective customers.
Your tradeshow affords exhibitors a range of opportunities to obtain qualified leads. The show floor is an obvious place to obtain leads, but you no doubt provide other opportunities, such as seminars, coffee breaks, receptions, golf and tennis outings and so on.Exhibitors should be encouraged to take part at these extra events and attendees should be encouraged to be receptive. They may need reminding of the importance of exhibitors and sponsors to the success of the event. Attendees should be encouraged to view exhibitors as colleagues, not as adversaries.
Your tradeshow offers a very cost competitive means of accomplishing these objectives.
Here are some of the top reason’s we’ve heard why people attend:
- I’ll meet other attendees with whom I can share ideas, perhaps partner with, gain access to their networks.
- Meet exhibitors who offer solutions to my needs.
- Find products and services that address problems that heretofore I had not even identified.
- Hear speakers who inspire, fire the imagination, inform.
Keep these objectives in mind when you develop your show plan and promote it. Attendees need to be reminded why it’s so important to exhibit.
Any work you do on your show should have the same objective: increase attendance. In times like these – any activity that does not directly contribute to increased attendance should stop.