Audience Interest Factor: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

I know you have heard the old adage, what you don’t know won’t hurt you, however when planning a successful face-to-face marketing event, what you don’t know has the potential to damage your trade show program. Have no fear, the Audience Interest Factor often referred to as the AIF index can help you become better prepared for every show, propelling you to become the qualified #leadschamp for your company. This number is thought, by industry professionals, to be more important than show attendance totals and total lead counts.

The AIF is the percent of total attendees that have an interest in certain products or services like the ones your company offers. The greater the AIF index the easier it will be to attract show attendees to your exhibit to interact with them. The AIF index is typically provided by a third-party, independent auditor of your show. They calculate this number by sending out surveys simply asking which products and services they are attending the show for, specifically.

Dick Swandby, the originator this need-to-know number, has been a top researcher in the trade show industry since 1970. He concludes the average AIF index across all shows is 16%. This means that roughly 160 out of every 1,000 attendees has some sort of interest in your product. This AIF index is a good rule of thumb and can be a great predictor of how many attendees will like your product in the case that you cannot get the Audience Interest Factor. However, you should always strive for the absolute number.

So why is the Audience Interest Factor so significant? Knowing the AIF number before the show will allow you to take the guess work out preparing for you shows by calculating the percentage of people that will truly visit your booth during the show. This will allow you to easily determine your main goals and objectives, to staff your booth with the correct amount of people and to know how many promotional items to take (making sure you don’t take too much, because we all know what a headache to ship them back, plus this can cause unsightly overages in your budget ). The AFI index will also help you more determine the outcome of the show more precisely, allowing you to get a better idea of your ROI before you even leave for the show.

Ask your show organizer for the Audience Interest Factor. If for some reason, they aren’t forthcoming with this information, ask until you get it. Knowing the AIF index can help your trade show program blossom to its full potential, while elevating you closer to becoming a master qualified #leadschamp.