If you have been exhibiting at trade shows for the past several years, you will have noticed that the average age of attendees has declined. It’s a natural evolution in the industry as the people who used to attend are promoted into higher levels of management. Younger faces have taken their place on the trade show floor. Exhibitors who employ the same trade show ideas that they used a decade ago will find this new crop of attendees less receptive to their overtures.
The people who attend trade shows today are more cynical than those who went before them. They’re less trusting, respond to a different set of triggers, and place more value on presentations that engage them on multiple levels. Below, I’ll provide a few trade show ideas that you can use in order to reach this new crop of trade show attendees.
Building The Trust Factor
Trust is an increasingly difficult bridge to build to today’s trade show attendee. Words alone tend to fall upon deaf ears. The younger people who walk the aisles have an increased level of skepticism. They’re not persuaded by flashy trade show exhibits or lofty claims that cannot be verified. Instead, they want proof. If you claim that your product will deliver a specific result, you must be able to provide evidence that can be validated. Until you’re able to build trust, the success of your other trade show ideas will be limited.
Putting Them In The Driver’s Seat
Long ago, car dealerships recognized the value of putting prospective buyers into the driver’s seat. The tactile demonstration often cemented the buyer’s decision. Your trade show exhibits should support the same strategy. Put your products into the hands of your booth visitors. For example, if your company develops software, set up a large monitor and encourage attendees to try it. The younger generation values a practical, tactile experience when making decisions. If you can incorporate this tactic into your trade show ideas, you’ll find these younger attendees more engaged and receptive.
Personalize The Approach
The younger people who visit your trade show exhibits want more personal attention than their predecessors. Initially, some of them will be content – and even prefer – to investigate your products on their own. However, after they do so, many will seek more information from you and your booth staff. The more you personalize your approach, the more receptive these attendees will be to the conversation.
Introduce yourself, ask their name, and use it. Avoid distractions and listen actively to their needs and concerns. Engage them in the conversation by maintaining a comfortable level of eye contact. By using a personal approach with your trade show ideas, you’ll communicate to your visitors that you value them and their time.
Inform, Entertain, And Engage
In years past, trade show attendees were content merely to be entertained. Any amusing break from the monotony of spending hours walking the aisles was welcomed. Today’s younger booth visitors require more stimulation on multiple levels. Of course, your trade show exhibits should be attractively designed to catch their attention and draw them in. But, you’ll also need to leverage creative trade show ideas that can entertain them while laying the groundwork for an engaging conversation.
For example, trade show attractions such as classic video games and customized popcorn machines can be the perfect complement to your exhibiting strategy. While visitors wait their turn to play the video game, or while eating their popcorn, your booth staff can begin qualifying them as potential leads.
Reaching and appealing to today’s younger trade show attendees requires a different approach than that which worked in the past. By building their trust, encouraging their participation, and giving them the personal attention they crave, you’ll find them more receptive to you and your booth staff. And once you’ve engaged them in a manner they value, your other trade show ideas will be far more effective.