Living the Tradeshow Attendee Experience
Everyone’s an Attendee Sometimes
Perhaps you’re scouting out potential shows to invest in down the line. Or maybe you’re an exhibitor scouting out the competition. And often, you are a potential customer of your fellow exhibitors. We recommend that you embrace the opportunity to live the tradeshow attendee experience.
Have Your Own Tradeshow Attendee Experience
Even when you’re an exhibitor, it’s important to be an attendee at some point. When you walk the show, you have a unique view of the tradeshow attendee experience. Check out the signage and materials to see how easy (or hard) it is to find a given exhibitor or service.
If nothing else, you need to see what you’re up against. Anyone who has worked a tradeshow booth knows that the lulls in traffic can feel excruciating. Take a few minutes to figure out where the attendees are! Talk to a few exhibitors to see how they are engaging, capturing and selling to attendees. If they’re scanning badges or business cards to capture leads, let them scan yours to observe the process and maybe set the example. Take notes as you go.
Capitalize on Opportunities as an Attendee
Being an attendee, whether for the entire time or part time in between booth shifts, holds other kinds of opportunities as well. It allows you to interact as a peer with your customers and prospects. For example, there are often educational sessions and demos that go along with the expo. When you attend these, you can be one of the crowd. So you can ask questions, hear what they are thinking, observe what they’re interested in, and even demonstrate your expertise. This is also a perfect way to network, and invite them to visit your booth, or just exchange info for follow up.
Using Your Experience as an Attendee to Evaluate the Show
Attending a tradeshow without exhibiting is often the first step in determining its potential to contribute to your business development efforts. It allows you to see who really shows up. Which companies and which titles are there, and how many? Ask exhibitors how their experience has been and if they are finding value. Look for your competitors. How does their messaging resonate? Keep an eye out for innovative display and promotional ideas.
Watch for where other attendees gather, where they linger and even what they avoid. Does the organizer group similar companies, products or services together, or allow space between? How do they support the exhibitors? How do they design and deliver the attendee experience?
Once you’ve had the tradeshow attendee experience, you will be in a much better position to recommend, plan and execute effectively. As a result, you will be able to deliver the optimal attendee experience while you deliver ROI for your company.