Trade Shows: Quantity vs. Quality
We go to trade shows to gather leads, analyze our competition and network with other industry influencers. What happens though when the show is not quite what you expected, the lighting is off, your products are not going over well, or worse yet attendees simply did not show up.
When attendees do not show up most exhibitors choose to complain to the company responsible for driving quantity rather than focusing on what is right in front of them, the people. Some shows are designed this way so that the quality of the attendees is the driving factor rather than trying to fill the exhibition hall to the maximum quantity.
I recently attended a show where this was the case, the quantity of attendees was about 100, and there were about 100 exhibitors there as well. Knowing that we had to make this trade show count, and after talking with the first couple attendees we knew that they were key decision makers, attending the trade show to interview and check out potential suppliers, their quality was A+. We were able to have focused (and dedicated, because we didn’t have 5 people waiting to talk) conversations about their specific projects; including time lines, costs, hurdles, and what they needed. If this would have been a normal trade show were quantity reigned we would have spend more time scanning badges and asking generic questions so that when we follow up in 2weeks that they might have remembered us rather than having in-depth quality conversations.
Another note about the quality of attendees vs the quantity of attendees, it will make after trade show follow up much easier and much more focused. Rather than running multi-week campaigns (although it’s not a bad idea from a brand management standpoint), you can pick up the phone and pick up the conversation where you left off, hopefully being able to step in and receive the project, significantly shortening the sales cycle that typically accompanies a trade show.
So the next time you are at a trade show that does not have a lot of attendees and you are thinking this is a waste of time, take a deep breath, step back and pursue the quality of attendees needed to have success.