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Why do visitors really go to trade shows and what are their three key objectives?

by ndadmin 15. June 2010 22:27

We all hope it’s because they want to do business with the exhibitors there, plus meet some new contacts and get new ideas. But how many of their objective boxes do they actually tick?

At the last International Confex Show, a survey was conducted to establish why visitors go to trade shows. They were asked: ‘What are your objectives when you go to trade shows and what are the best and worst aspects of visiting shows?’

Visitors revealed three key objectives for visiting a trade show: 68 percent said making new contacts, 64 percent said for inspiration and new ideas and 62 percent said networking. This is pretty consistent with research undertaken at a variety of shows, in a variety of markets.

When asked about the best aspects of visiting a trade show, the top answer was getting new ideas, but attending the seminar program was low on the list of priorities. This is ironic since show organizers put so much emphasis on the seminar content, thinking that the visitor needs more than one good reason to get out of their office to attend a show.

General statistics tell us that only one in 28 visitors are actively approached at shows, so I was interested to see the survey showed that 46 percent of visitors said their worst aspect of visiting a show was not being approached by exhibitors. Clearly, the only way the visitor can tick their objective boxes is if they speak to the exhibitors.

Isn’t this the crux of the matter? If everybody wants to meet, why don’t they? If visitors want to be approached, why aren’t they? Exhibiting success has little to do with the organizer, your display position or exhibit design and everything to do with you. If there is one secret to successful exhibiting, it’s speak to the visitors.

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