Attendee Engagement

4 Types of Trade Show Attendees and How to Attract The Right One

Understanding trade show attendees is critical to attracting them to your booth. Read this post on attendees types and how you can attract them.

Not all trade show visitors are the same.

To attract attendees and achieve your event objectives, it is vital to understand their motivation and behaviors.

After all, you’d only want the right type of attendees to visit your booth to maximize the impact of your marketing efforts.

So, what are the different types of trade show visitors? Here’s a list of the top 4-

#1- The Freeloader


Plain image in orange color with text what's for free aimed to describe freeloaders at trade show events

Everybody loves freebies but some people like them more than others. The primary objective of freeloaders at a trade show is to collect as many giveaways as possible.

From pens, mouse pads, and bumper stickers to even product brochures, they’ll collect anything and everything as long as it is free. You’ll often find them wearing tote bags filled with promotional items. You'll often notice these freeloaders giving out fake emails and contact details. If you have a lot of freeloaders at your booths, it may be time to rething your trade show marketing strategy.

#2- The Window Shopper 

Pink color background image with text I'm just looking to describe the window shopper at trade show eventse

Window shoppers make up a good percentage of any trade show attendees list. They generally don’t have an agenda or reason to attend the event but won’t mind chatting with your staff to kill time. 

They just stroll through the booths with their hands in their pockets and stop by at flashy booths with something interactive and exciting. While they might be interested to come to your booth, you'll often find them running away as soon as you start talking about your business. Sounds familiar? It may be time to rethink ways to engage with them through games and activities. The longer they are at your booth, the better your chances of turning them into prospects from just window shoppers.

#3- The Accumulator 

Plain color image with text Give me more detailsto describe the accumulator at trade shows

Accumulators are at the event to collect information and update themselves with the latest happenings and technologies in the industry.

While they might not have any urgent needs now, they can become your customers in the future. So, it’d help if you add their contact details to your CRM. Don't be pushy with them or else they might slip into the zone of window shoppers, or worse- freeloaders.

#4- The Buyer

Blue color image with text let's talk businessto describe the buyer at trade show eventse

The buyers are any trade show exhibitors’ primary target audience. They’re often decision-makers who have a well-defined agenda for visiting the event. Buyers actively look for a solution and also have a budget in mind.

If someone at your booth asks specific questions about you and your products or services, chances are they are genuine buyers. If they like what you have to offer, they generally don’t mind sharing their contact details for follow-ups. When you spot a buyer, dive right into about your business and products and services. Ask them for their email or contact details and also preferable time when they'd like to be contacted for a follow-up call. When you're following up, these should be first on your list. They have a pressing need and delaying their journey could cost you and your business.

How to Attract and Engage the Right Trade Show Attendees?

As per the types of trade show attendees listed above, you should only target the buyers and accumulators.

Here are some ways to attract them to your booth and get them involved with your brand-

  • Custom Booth- A well-designed custom booth with creative signage can make your booth stand apart and attract more visitors. 
  • Product Demos- Product demos are highly effective in helping people know more about your offerings. You can also consider AR/VR demos to offer something unique.
  • Booth Trivia Games- Booth games like trivia attract the audience, boost brand awareness, and help with lead collection.  
  • Trade Show-Only Offers- Offers only available during the event are also a huge hit among accumulators and buyers.

[READ- 10 Tactics to Drive Attendees to Your Exhibition Booth]

The Vital Role of Booth Staff in Attracting and Engaging the Right Attendees

Your trade show success abundantly depends on your booth staff. After all, they’ll be at the booth communicating with the visitors.

Thus, it is essential for your booth staff to be able to distinguish between the attendee types and only focus on people that actually matter. Training your booth staff adequately before the event can help in this endeavor.

If you’d like to learn more about how booth trivia games work, you can visit our latest work section to see how our custom games are helping businesses with their event objectives.

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