In a recent post, we shared a two-pronged approach while reviewing the new exhibitor retention for your tradeshow.
1. The percentage of new exhibitors in the current year compared to previous years.
2. The categories your returning new exhibitors are retaining or abandoning when they return to your show.
Today, we’d like to share the most common causes for a decline in the new exhibitor retention rate and categories over a given range of time as well as the recommended next steps to address these issues.
- Not Enough Qualified Leads
One of the key reasons companies exhibit at tradeshows, of course, is to generate high-value sales leads. If the new exhibitors’ perceived or realized ROI from your event is below their expectation, then that can make it challenging to retain them in the next show cycle.
Here are some ways in which you can drive online and onsite traffic to the new exhibitors:
- Create a first-time exhibitor program to increase their visibility to attendees
- Offer digital and onsite promotional packages to help them get their brand noticed
- Organize first-time attendee tours that bring them to new exhibitors’s booths as well
- Encourage them to showcase their solutions and services in your new product showcase
- Expensive Overhead Costs
If the new exhibitor is a start-up or relatively small company, then they may be working with very limited budgets, especially in the first year or two.Work with your vendors and service providers to develop standardized 10×10 ‘small businesses package’ with discounted costs and starter promotional opportunities. This will help to keep overhead costs down for those new exhibitors to help them focus on attracting attendees to their booth through the promotional packages you provide.
- Inexperience in Exhibiting
Many a time, new exhibitors drop out not because the tradeshow was a bad fit for them, but because they worked the booth completely wrong! You probably won’t hear this from them, however, walking the show floor you will likely notice newbie exhibitors sitting staring at their mobile phone screens instead of engaging attendees.The best way to counter this is by providing proactive education to new exhibitors in a phased manner, from the time they book the exhibit space leading up to the week of the show. A step by step ‘how to exhibit for success’ guide along with useful tips & tricks can also be of big help first-time booth personnel.
All of this may sound like a lot of extra work, but in the end, it is absolutely worth it. Your event’s long-term success lies in nurturing the up and coming sellers in your industry. You have to truly know and dig deeper into the data for your event to fully understand its behavior. That will enable your team to determine the next steps to do more of what’s working or course correct what’s not.
As always, the a2z team is here to help with the tedious analysis process and reduce the work for your team. Contact your a2z account manager today!
Listen to this blog post:
Authored in collaboration with Ashish Jain, Director, Strategic Business Development, a2z, Inc.
More to explore: