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7 Tactics That Win Over Millennials at Trade Shows

November 15, 2019

Although today’s digital world makes it easy for buyers, especially millennials, to make their purchasing decisions online, trade shows are still as important as ever for creating solid business relationships. While a handshake and a smile will never go out of style when aiming to create connections, there are a few additional approaches you’ll want to take if millennials are part of your target audience.

Millennials are slowly taking over the workforce, so how do you reach them at trade shows?

Make Every Process in Your Booth Simple 

Millennials grew up with day-to-day tasks constantly being simplified. These days you can have groceries delivered to your door, deposit a check on your phone without going to the bank, or log in to an online account with the press of a thumbprint or via facial recognition. Millennials appreciate shortened processes like these that save them time to do the things they actually want to be doing. Remember this with each process that an attendee may encounter in your booth. Forms and surveys should be short and sweet and should be digital rather than paper format. Information should be collected with something as easy as a badge swipe. If something seems too time-consuming, millennials tend to get frustrated or lose interest. 


Entice them on Social Media

Millennials are becoming the world’s most powerful consumers. With this shift in buying power, your business needs to shift its marketing tactics as well. If you haven’t been active online around your events in the past, it’s definitely time to create some type of social media strategy. Millennials are known for having their phone on them at all times and they’re constantly immersed in social media - it should be a priority to spark their interest before the show by utilizing social media! Get them excited to visit your booth at the show by sharing sneak peeks or making them feel like they might miss out on something if they don’t stop by.


Interact Online During the Show

You can already assume that millennials won’t be leaving their phone in the hotel room while they’re at the event. Since they’ll have their phones out at the show, use this to your advantage by engaging with them online. Create incentives for them to share photos at your booth, use live video streaming or event-specific hashtags. If the experience they receive in your exhibit is unique, millennials may want to even share it on their own just to show off to their followers. The more positive exposure, the better! If they do share photos while at your booth, be sure to engage and comment. According to a Forbes study, 62% of millennials stated that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become loyal customers.


Integrate as Much Technology as Possible

If integrating more technology requires some updates to your exhibit, it will definitely be worth it to capture the eyes of millennials, who hold $200 billion in annual buying power. Touchscreen displays will help to engage and capture high-quality leads. Video screens can do a great job of storytelling and igniting interest. And who doesn’t love seeing a charging station when their battery is running low? Trade show attendees who are planning on being there all day will appreciate it AND it’s a great tactic to keep guests in your booth longer. AV technology is another standout tactic to interest and engage millennials in your booth.


After the Show, Meet Them Where They Tend to Make Their Purchases

Millennials tend to be the most responsive to online shopping opportunities. Businesses who are selling directly to consumers should especially consider this. After the show, sending discounts through email that can be applied online, rather than mailing paper coupons that have to be used in-store will be more effective to these online-leaning shoppers. Since millennials are so present on social media, you can use posts to lead them to your website! If you’re a brick and mortar business who also sells online, don’t try to push millennials into your store. Instead, meet them where they’re already at (online) and it will be much simpler to produce sales.  


Generate Quality Reviews to Gain Trust

According to Adweek, 93% of millennials rely on reviews before making purchases. They tend to trust the experience that previous customers have had with a brand before they decide if it’s worth making a purchase. They may love the experience they have in your booth, but if they go online and see little or no reviews, they could find it hard to trust you. There are many ways to collect reviews and win over the many millennials who rely on them – offer incentives, ask through emails, ask in-person, or find other creative ways to accumulate them over time.


Stand Out with Uniqueness

Millennials love the next big thing. They appreciate brands that take new approaches to common tasks or problems. To stand out at your trade show, focus your messaging on how you are doing things differently than the rest. Show them that you’re innovative. This uniqueness will help you stand out in their minds, making your brand more memorable. Millennials also love to see a company donating a percentage of sales to a special cause. Feeling good about a purchase is a great incentive for them to spend a little more on your product.


Millennials are not an audience to be overlooked in your trade show marketing plan. With such great buying power, it’s important to remember the many things that appeal to them and influence them. If your exhibit needs an upgrade to better capture the attention of trade show attendees, Skyline Exhibits and Events can help. Our experts will work with you to design and create an exhibit that appeals to all of your audiences, drives engagement and best of all, builds brand loyalty.

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