Who’s Attending Trade Shows? Let’s Talk Your Target Demographics

Trade Show Demographics

No matter your sales or marketing goals, the key reason for attending a trade show or exhibition is always the same: increasing sales and profitability for your company. A key question for many exhibitors is, “Is it worth it?” Are trade shows worth the time, energy, and resources they command? Will you reach decision makers, new prospects, and companies who need your product?

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the answer is a resounding YES. So, we at Adler asked ourselves, who are trade show attendees and what do they expect from an exhibitor? Looking at CEIR’s research is very enlightening.

Decision Makers

Many exhibitors fret about whether they are reaching the right audience. CEIR’s research indicates they are, with a whopping 94% of attendees possessing net buying influence for their company. This means exhibitors have a rare opportunity to directly reach decision makers face-to-face, without the hassle of cold calls or emails. This means your exhibit space needs to be professional and welcoming, while staff should be prepped and ready for high-quality interactions, with games, literature, and elevator pitches at the ready to drive traffic into your booth and convert it to leads. 

They Have Crowded Schedules

On average, trade show attendees go to events for more than three industries. These are the decision makers and trend setters, interested in learning and growing their companies. So don’t blow them off. Make sure you have a wealth of information ready. Don’t overwhelm every visitor, but make sure your staff is prepared to answer detailed questions with hard facts.

They Come In All Shapes And Sizes

According to CEIR’s research, 47% of attendee’s companies employ less than 100 people, and another 11% fall into the 100-499 range. This shows us that while small and medium sized firms have a sizeable presence at shows, they are not as well represented as larger firms, those employing more than 500 people. Opportunities to interact with decision makers from many of these firms are infrequent, as they have busy schedules and gatekeepers, but they are fair game on the show floor. Make sure your booth conveys your message and core value, and effectively piques interest to attract these decision makers.

Success at trade shows is all about preparation. Whether it’s your booth, your staff, or your materials, make sure every facet of your exhibit is professional, clean, and informative. This will help you get face time with decision makers and convert leads into sales.


Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings over 78 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics.  For more information about Adler Display, please visit our website at www.adlerdisplay.com or call us at: 855-552-3537.