The attendees at your exhibition play an enormous role in the overall success of your event and the satisfaction of your exhibitors. Exhibitions are designed to encourage connection and networking between companies and attendees with similar interests and values. Therefore, it’s important that you look for quality attendees, rather than quantity.
Sometimes the more attendees you have at your event doesn’t necessarily mean the better. If your event attracts people who don’t align with your brand values, then they won’t align with that of the exhibitors, meaning that exhibitors won’t find value in communicating with your guests. Additionally, attendees won’t react positively to the event if they can’t resonate with its purpose and goals.
So, how do you ensure your attendees are quality? There are a few processes you can follow to avoid unwanted attendees.
Determine your ideal guest
Consider your reasons for organising an exhibition and your overall goals. This will help you determine what type of attendee will fit with what you hope to achieve. Create a profile for the ideal guests you would like to see at your event. Identify their previous networking experience, what their problems are, what solutions they are looking for, what industry they work in, and whether they want to expand their network of professionals. Once you identify who your audience is it becomes easier to identify who is not.
You can also begin targeting your ideal attendee with marketing tactics to suit their wants and needs. Don’t assume that your ideal attendees will come to your event on their own. Your marketing should be targeted correctly so that they register and display interest, but you’ll also need to send personalised invites to ensure they are aware of the event and feel encouraged to attend.
Determine how attendees qualify
If your registration or ticket sales are open to the public, you’ll need a qualification criterion to ensure that you can manage the interest you receive. After identifying who your ideal attendee is you can create a criterion that filters any unwanted qualities or experience.
You can use this criterion by including questions that attendees will be required to answer when registering their interest in the expo. These questions can be designed to reveal relevant information about them that will help you determine whether they’re a suitable attendee for your event. For example, questions such as ‘what is your role?’ will help you identify your guests more efficiently.
You can set a strict criterion that needs to be met before the expo. For example, if your event is focused on connecting entrepreneurs and investors, you can indicate that entrepreneurs have companies with a certain amount of annual profit.
What’s important and what’s not
While there are some great qualities to look for in attendees, there are also some qualities that you should avoid in attendees. Avoid people who want to attend the event for their own personal agenda who only have plans to promote their own business and showcase their own achievements. These people make it difficult for exhibitors to engage with them.
Avoid people who attend the event with an unclear understand of what they want or hope to achieve. These people may be hesitant to interact with the exhibitors or other attendees.
Avoid people with irrelevant experience, whether that’s too much, too little, or not relevant to the focus of the event. Having attendees who can’t relate to the event in some way will make it difficult for exhibitors to find value in them.
Instead, your quality attendees should be responsible, willing to network, seeking meaningful interactions and committed to continuing the communication with exhibitors even after the event concludes.
Narrow down your list
Your venue will have a maximum capacity that you need to adjust your invite list to suit. Not every can be invited and not everyone should be. Your event might not be suitable to everyone on your initial invite list or your list of customers. You will need to select the people that you will benefit from having at your event.
Monitor the invites you send out and the interest that you receive. Analyse who is more qualified to attend your event and who will suit your exhibitors. Ensure that you limit the number of registrations and review the selection criteria to narrow down your attendees.
Attracting the right attendees
Attracting the ideal attendee comes down to your marketing tactics and the evaluation criteria. Dedicate a team to thoroughly study each attendees profile and the company they represent to determine whether they are a suitable fit for your event. After you have identified your attendee profile, you can use marketing tools to target this audience and attract them to your event. Further, you can also handpick your attendees by sending personalised invitations to people that you believe will be a quality attendee.
It’s almost impossible to ensure every single attendee at your event is there for the right reasons and brings the right qualities. But the most important thing is that you can present a quality group of people who seek to build connections and business relationships with your business and your exhibitors. To hear more about qualifying leads, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.