What’s the #1 Thing Trade Show Visitors Want from You?


There are a lot of reasons why businesses like yours choose to put their time, money and energy into perfecting a great trade show booth and then taking it on the road. That work can pay off in many different ways. But one of the most obvious goals when you attend a trade show is to reach the show’s visitors, and get your business into their brain. That’s why you shop around and invest in great visuals that turn heads, and why you work hard to get your message across. But what do those visitors want from you?

It’s easy to see trade show attendance as a one-sided thing – you show up and push your brand on visitors, with flashy visuals and stand out table displays. Really though, the trade show experience should be two-sided. Your visitors should leave feeling that they interacted with your business, rather than feeling that they saw or noticed your business. How can you bridge that gap?

What They Want: Interaction

Interaction at a trade show can be as simple as a conversation with your company’s representatives. This is probably the type of trade show talk you’re used to, and the way you hope to reach visitors. It’s important to make sure that your staff are fully knowledgeable about whatever products or services you’re showcasing, as well as company history and general ‘About Us’ talking points. Ideally they’ll be fielding questions from visitors, so preparation is key if you want to impress!

Let Them Get Hands-On

A recent study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that physical interaction topped the list for what trade show visitors want: 58.9% said that they wanted to interact through product demonstrations, and 58% said they wanted real hands on interaction. If the business you’re in allows for physical product demonstrations, you’d best get them out in front. Even if you’re not in the business of selling physical products, brainstorm ways to increase hands on interaction in your booth or display.

Take It Away

That same study also found that 57.8% of trade show visitors really like to take information home with them, so they can explore it in depth later. This is great for you, because that’s really what you want them to do! Make sure you have the necessary supplies to make it possible – brochures, catalogs, free samples, etc.  More high tech options include using QR codes and apps to allow visitors to download their own information, or giving away small flash drives containing all the necessary information. Anything you can do to make sure they walk away with your materials in hand is a good investment.

It can be easy to get caught up in deciding which type of pen you should give away, or what style of table cover runner looks best. Those aren’t unimportant things. But remember that what draws visitors in – your great visuals – are only as good as your interaction with them, once you’ve got them at your booth!

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