Planning Brings Tradeshows
Conference planners often debate on having a tradeshow, it adds to workload and planning. Then there is the perennial question if conference attendees also brings tradeshow traffic. Just because there is a tradeshow, will attendees peruse the tradeshow?
Indeed, having a tradeshow also brings additional revenue to the conference planners, but it can hurt the conference in the long run if the tradeshow attendees do not get their money's worth. That includes their time and travel investment. So, what brings tradeshow traffic? Planning.
Having a good plan brings tradeshows off. Planning how to get people to the trade area often and frequently is important.
The Old Ploy
Having a prize for visiting booths is a tradeshow staple. Many times there are drawings that will be announced to the attendees, and only open to those who attend at certain times (often at the end of a show). Then there is the sign my card for visiting each booth or a certain number of booths; those that complete a card get a premium or entry into a drawing. These are tried and true tactics to that brings tradeshow traffic, but often the people are more interested in the prize than visiting with tradeshow presenters.
Many times a tradeshow is shoved off to the side and people have to make an effort to visit. Better if people have to travel through a tradeshow area to get to a general assembly or a breakout session. Working with convention staff to make this happen. Also, put as many special events in the tradeshow area as is possible. Like a special speaker is doing a post speech book signing, move it to the tradeshow area. Also, consider setting up a breakout session in an open area of the tradeshow area. Planning the conferences traffic pattern brings tradeshow traffic.
Some conferences do not like to give vendors and an attendees list, and that is understandable. But also understand that the tradeshow vendors are there for your conference attendees. Consider offering a pre-conference attendees list if the tradeshow vendors agree to a two part promotion. That is mailing attendees a premium pre-conference and an offer for a second premium when they come to the booth. A past example has been a sunglass case before conference and the sunglasses when people show at the tradeshow booth. This kind of offer brings tradeshow visitors to a booth directly.This planning brings tradeshows in year after year, because the vendor is getting their money's worth with valued traffic.