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Ways to Encourage More In-Person Attendance at Trade Shows

trade show attendance

The trade show industry has struggled over the past couple of years due to COVID-19, but things are finally picking up. Vaccines have been rolled out, restrictions have been loosened and people are returning to work. Still, the path forward may not be as clear as you had hoped. Some people still have concerns over attending large, crowded events, which means you may have to offer hybrid events. 

Of course, there are ways to encourage more in-person attendance at your trade shows. This is ideal, as you’ll have the opportunity to connect with people face-to-face and let them experience your products using their senses. Here are four ways to encourage more people to attend your trade show events. 

Ensure Visitor Safety 

Prior to the event, let your guests know that you will be taking their health and safety very seriously. For example, you can pick a spacious layout that offers plenty of room for attendees to move around, or you can wear masks and sanitize regularly.

The important thing is that you’re able to show attendees that you care about their health and will be taking steps to ensure their safety. However you choose to do this is up to you. Also communicate what the convention center is doing to keep people safe. 

Promote Interactive Experiences 

Now that many people have experienced trade shows online, they’re wondering if they need to attend these events in person ever again. But before you get concerned, consider that trade shows are an opportunity to see a product or service in action. Virtual experiences are rather limited when it comes to showing off new products or services.

Find ways to promote an interactive experience at your exhibit. Attendees will be more likely to visit your exhibit and enjoy the message that’s being sent. If possible, give people multiple ways to experience new products such as hands-on exhibits and product demos. 

Emphasize the Event Location 

People are traveling again, and that includes going to trade shows. Consider that 70 percent of Americans have plans to travel in 2022, though COVID-19 safety measures remain important. Whether you’re attending a trade show in a large city or regional area, capitalize on the location and what visitors can do.

For example, trade show attendees can take a mini vacation, try a new restaurant or visit a landmark. You can also sweeten the deal by taking a few of your best clients out to one of the new restaurants or providing them with tickets to something fun like a game or culinary tour. 

Offer a Hybrid Event 

Because some people may not feel comfortable in crowded settings for a long time, it’s best to offer hybrid experiences. Providing both virtual and in-person experiences can help you maximize your trade show attendance. But, to encourage in-person attendance, be clear that there will be special offerings for those who attend. Otherwise, people will be more likely to attend the event online out of convenience. 

Increase In-Person Attendance with a New Exhibit 

These are just some of the ways that you can encourage more in-person attendance at your trade show events. Some people will still be hesitant to attend live events, but many are getting back to ‘normal.’ 

To accommodate your audience, offer virtual and in-person experiences, but make the in-person experiences most attractive with cool giveaways, tickets to local attractions and more. Things may never be like they were pre-COVID, but you can still make trade shows work for you. 

To discuss your trade show exhibit and how to make it stand out from the rest, contact IGE Group for a consultation. We can update your current exhibit or build an entirely new one for outstanding results!