Manning the stand

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76% of Exhibition Visitors have an Agenda

Posted on May 05, 2015

Industry research shows that 76% of those visiting a B2B trade show have already decided upon the stands they're going to visit before they arrive at the event.

So what does this mean for exhibitors? Well, first of all it makes sense to invest in some pre-exhibition marketing to ensure your company is on the list of stands to be visited. Second, if you're not on that list the chances of those visitors drifting over to your stand are limited if you don't have something that grabs their attention.

Some exhibitors don't see the need to come up with an exhibition attractor, they believe their stand's design, graphics or brand will be enough. This may be true for some companies but for the vast majority of small to medium sized exhibitors, their visual offering will be lost in the sea of stands. Others believe an attraction will be too expensive and the preserve of those with mega marketing budgets or they think it might be bit tacky. With a bit of imagination the cost need not be prohibitive also if you're spending £10,000 upwards on event, an extra £500 to potentially double the number of visitors seems like a sound investment. Whether an attraction is tacky or not is determined by your company's positioning and of course what you choose.

Some of the best attractions combine movement to catch your eye with an opportunity for visitors to get hands-on or to take part in something. The most effective ones are often linked (however tenuously) to your product/service. Some recent examples include:

  • An organisation marketing psychological resilience workshops with a 'stress test' indicator you place your thumb on
  • A manufacturer of bespoke bi-fold doors demonstrating how to use and giving away draughtman's rulers at the Grand Designs show
  • The industrial cleaning company who had a shoe shine chair on the stand. A great time to qualify a visitor while they're a captive audience having their shoes cleaned

Not only can ideas like these get people onto the stand they're also something to use as a reminder in follow up conversations.