Understanding Trade Show Attendees & How to Generate Leads

January 29, 2016

This blog post comes from guest contributor Andy Saks, owner and lead trainer at Spark Presentations

. When preparing for a trade show, it’s common for businesses to focus their efforts on things like giveaways, booth design, and marketing. Research shows, however, that the number one influence on attendee conversion at a trade show is how they interact with your booth staff. Trade show attendees weigh their personal interactions with exhibitor staff over every other factor in the booth. In other words, your people matter more than your booth design, company reputation, and even products and services. So what’s the secret to getting your booth staff to generate leads and loyal fans? The key is in understanding what motivates a trade show attendee.

Understanding Trade Show Attendees

What do attendees care about?

You guessed it. Trade show attendees care about themselves. Remember what they’re thinking: “What’s in it for me?”

What do they really want?

Trade show attendees are looking for “top rung benefits.” Most trade show exhibitors, if they mention product benefits at all, will stay on the “bottom rung” of the ladder with lists of small, immediate, company-oriented benefits, like saving time and money. But if you can go “up the ladder” to talk about the benefits those benefits provide––the more long-term, personal benefits, like what a company can do with the time and money they’ll save, and how those benefits personally help the prospect advance their career––your benefits will resonate with an intensity that no one else can match.

How do they see you?

They see you as the embodiment of your company. Whether you’re curious, enthusiastic, and trustworthy, or disinterested and inattentive, they will connect that experience with your company and make their judgements accordingly.

What 2 traits earn their trust?

The two most important characteristics of a booth staffer are strength and warmth. Strength is the idea that you will do what you say you can do––that you can be trusted to fulfill your promises to a customer. Warmth, on the other hand, is more about the subtext or motivation. Prospects want to know that you care about helping them succeed. If you can show these two traits side by side, prospects will love you for it. About the Author: Andy Saks is owner and lead trainer at Spark Presentations. He and his team serve as trade show staff trainers, booth presenters and booth staffers that generate leads, sales, press, and goodwill for their clients at trade shows. Over the last 18 years, Andy has worked at over 200 trade shows with dozens of global corporations, industry leaders and start-ups, including AT&T, Ericsson, FedEx, Intel, Samsung, Panasonic, and many more. Click this trade show training link for more information on Spark’s booth training options.