Meetings

What Does the Average Tradeshow Attendee Look Like?

By / Jan 23, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Are all tradeshow attendees the same? A new study has a “profile” of the average attendee.

How do your tradeshow attendees stack up? A recent study from the Center of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) published a profile of the average tradeshow attendee. The report was based off of 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors from diverse backgrounds.

The demographics reveal exhibitions mirror the diversity of the broader economy.

Here are some of the findings:

They don’t necessarily have loyalty to just one industry. The CEIR study reported that within the past couple of years, tradeshow attendees visit exhibitions that span, on average, 3.2 different industry sectors. (Exhibitors participate on average slightly less, at 2.2 industry sectors).

Tradeshow attendees are filled with decision makers. The findings were a plus for those making pitches for new products or services: 94 percent of those surveyed label themselves as having net buying influence for their organization.

They work for organizations of all sizes, with over half employing up to 99, and fewer than 20 percent employing 100-499.

“The demographics reveal exhibitions mirror the diversity of the broader economy,” CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau told Successful Meetings. “These events offer exhibitors high-quality buyer audiences across a broad range of industry sectors. This is further proof that exhibitions are a powerful, face-to-face marketing medium.”

With such an influx of important potential buyers and influencers in the tradeshow world, it’s more important than ever for a one-on-one interaction. A fall study from CEIR labeled face-to-face interaction as the preferred settings at tradeshows (56 percent of attendees and 67 percent of exhibitors). Falling in second place: Product demonstrations, with just 20 percent of attendees and 19 percent of exhibitors.

How would you classify your tradeshow and conference attendees? Do they align with CEIR’s reports?

Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. More »

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