Written by Eric Burg, CEO
About four months ago the event world opened up again, with venues and show promoters welcoming big crowds into their live indoor and outdoor events. Hundreds of exhibitors stood ready and excited to get back to face-to-face marketing. Many exhibitors were nervous, not sure what to expect with attendance, and attendees were nervous not knowing what to expect when they got there and unsure if there would be enough to explore and discover at the show.
Over the last few months, we have had staff and clients active on the show floor. Here are the top five things we have learned:
- Across many different industries and sized events, attendance has been down on average 50%
- Exhibitors are reporting that even though total attendance is down, the right qualified people who make buying decisions are the ones attending
- Exhibitors are being offered better spaces, that would have never been available to them before, due to some companies not participating this year.
- Exhibitors are also reporting, as a result of the lower attendance, they are actually able to spend more time talking to clients and prospects, and demonstrating their products
- Likewise, attendees are also that they are able to visit more exhibitors and have deeper conversations with them due fewer attendees and exhibiting companies
So, what does this mean for you? There are several take-aways from these findings that can help you achieve better results at your next event. The first thing you should do is ask for a better location, you never know what spaces are coming available if other companies are deciding not to exhibit. A superior location will always be better than a larger space in a bad location. You should also select and activate your best staff for the event. A highly engaging, well-trained staff with generate better overall results for your team.
Bottom line, there are great opportunities to be found at trade shows right now. Reduce your size and staff if you need to, but don’t cancel. If you are not there to reap the benefits and increase your lead generation your competitor or someone else will. This might be the BEST TIME for a start-up or smaller underdog to gain recognition and piece of the market with fewer companies exhibiting.
5 easy action steps for you:
- Get the best space available, even if it is smaller
- Train your staff well
- Create a strong pre-show promotion and post-show follow-up plan
- Size to the Opportunity – if you expect half the attendance then use half the size space
- Do not listen to rumors, your competitors don’t want you to exhibit at the show if they aren’t going to be there because they fear losing some of their business.
We will continue to keep you in the loop as we gather more intel from shows and our customers who are exhibiting. And if you are in Vegas at the end of the month, be sure to come visit us at ExhbitorLive November 1st – 2nd. We will be there practicing what we preach!