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3 Must Know Secrets About Trade Show Attendees

August 05, 2019

Shhhh… we’re about to share a few secrets with you that many trade show exhibitors haven’t yet realized. These secrets may be something you can figure out over time, but don’t waste time and money to learn from your mistakes; take it from trade show experts with years of experience in the event marketing industry!

Trade show attendees aren’t exactly ‘patient.’

When there are aisles and aisles of exhibits to visit, trade show attendees most definitely don’t have intentions of spending a long time in any one booth. If they’ve gotten word of exciting promotions or fun giveaways that other companies are doing, they’ll have those companies’ booths in the back of their minds, even if yours also has a lot to offer.

  • If you intend on having a high booth guest turn out, prepare with a sufficient amount of booth staffers. You don’t want to find yourself with an impossible guest to staff ratio, resulting in long lines that people don’t have time to stand in. High booth attendance is great, but not if you can’t accommodate everyone. You might as well say goodbye to a good chunk of potential leads if you come unprepared for the masses of people who may be interested in what your business has to offer - pay attention to the expected show attendance and plan accordingly!
  • Trade show attendees love promotional items and free giveaways, but if it takes you too long to locate them, they’ll lose interest. Make guests feel like they’re making the most of their time at the trade show by having your items for them ready on standby. This will leave a good taste in their mouth because their time was respected.

Don’t assume that your booth guests have all the time in the world, because secretly, they may already be thinking about what booth they’re going to visit next.

Trade show attendees need to hear something multiple times before they make a move. 

Research shows that prospects must hear a message at least seven times for it to be retained in their memory and then to move on to make a purchase.

  • Remind your trade show staff that if you have an important message, a unique aspect of your brand that you’re trying to spread the word about, a great deal you’re offering or any other message you want portrayed to your booth guests, to repeat it multiple times. Once is not enough for it to stick in a prospect’s mind. If your booth guests remember hearing something that’s appealing to them a couple times in your messaging, they’ll be able to recall it later on after the show.


  • Don’t just tell, show. Use graphics and strong contrast lettering in your exhibit to show off your message. The more times that people see it – the more effective it will be in leading toward a sale!


  • Share your specific message in your pre-show marketing such as your website, social media, and other promotional materials. Any way that you can get your message across the eyes and ears of potential customers will only liken your chances for a future purchase.

Don’t think because your deal sounds so amazing that prospects will jump on it at first mention. It will take them some warming up to your message before they decide to make the jump of an actual purchase. 

You only have a few moments to draw in trade show attendees.

If you can’t capture someone’s attention in under 8 seconds, consider them a goner (or at least gone from your booth). With the human attention span getting shorter and shorter, if you don’t have an intriguing, eye-catching exhibit to pull attendees in, it could be a lost opportunity on your end.

  • Don’t skimp out on graphics and booth appeal. A booth that’s eye-catching, even from a distance, is one big step to success in the trade show world. Backlighting is a great way to draw people in by making your graphics shine and stand out from other booths. A couple of other ways to stand out on the trade show floor include hanging structures and a large structural presence on the trade show floor, and incorporating digital content—bonus if it’s interactive! 


  • Know your audience and know what’s going to get their attention. If you’re targeting baby boomers, it’s important to know that they prefer face-to-face communication. So, greeting prospects at your entrance with a staffer will be an additional appeal to this type of audience. If you’re targeting millennials or Generation Z, use the appeal of screens and technology for initial attraction to your exhibit, and wait until they’ve committed to entering the booth before greeting them with a real person. If you’re looking for more ways to reach different generations, click here.


  • If you’re giving a presentation, research shows that it’s important to share the information you want people to remember in the first 20 minutes. If you can, keep your product demonstrations under 20 minutes altogether to ensure that prospects stay through your entire presentation.  

If you know your audience and the way they think, you’ll be one step ahead of the game in your trade show marketing. If you’re ready to find a booth display that accommodates, excites and shares your message well with trade show attendees, contact us today to see how we can help!

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