The Four Key Selling Points to Increase Event Attendance

November 30, 2018

Nick McCallion

Nick McCallion is the President of Trade Show Ready, a 15-year-old agency that specializes in generating revenue solely for trade shows with services that encompass data mining, attendee acquisition, exhibitor leads, membership renewals and social media solutions.  

All trade shows, conferences and other events primarily exist for one reason: to allow the opportunity for face-to-face selling between attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. Of course, there are other reasons for events, such as education, but a trade show is its own ecosystem and its goal is to have growth with the perfect balance of qualified attendees and exhibitors. For the purposes of this article, the word “exhibitors” also includes sponsors.

How do I increase my event attendance on a consistent basis? Take a look at the four key selling points that are outlined below and you might find an answer or at least some tidbits of knowledge.

Let’s disregard the specific market your trade show addresses for the time being, as these four selling points can be implemented as an outline, with your branding and call to action (COA) added to further the success of your efforts. 

Networking: One important reason for potential attendees to attend your trade show is the perceived level of opportunity for networking with peers and meeting new contacts. If a person does not feel that the expenditure of their resources will yield a greater Return on Experience (ROE) for networking, and all other aspects of the show, he or she is not likely to attend.  

Education: The second key for selling to attendees is education, especially for shows in the technical and medical fields. Remember, you have to offer enough benefit for a person to leave their place of work, invest in the costs related to your event and compete with anything else that could be an investment of their time. Offering Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) brings credibility to the educational portions of your show and is a vital sales component. 

Technology: Regardless of your industry, or if your show is independent or association-based, technology is at the heart of the event. New and emerging technologies must be communicated to potential attendees, as well as how these technologies will assist them on a daily basis. The more research (or the more you know) about each potential attendee and their organization, the better you can sell specific benefits in order to get the registrations and aisle density that you desire.  

Venue: The fourth key to success is venue. Why do you think cities like Las Vegas, Chicago and Orlando do so well as trade show locations? People like to go there and the cities have worked very diligently to build a great reputation. Not many people want to go to Arizona in the Summer nor Minnesota in the Winter. Some shows like to stay in one locale, while others move on a regular basis.  Regardless of your show’s location, you must communicate the highlights of that city.

In conclusion, if you weave a compelling story that combines all four of the key selling points while making the message as specific as possible to your potential attendee, you will greatly increase your overall event attendance. This should be incorporated into all forms of attendee communication, including phone, email, print and social media. 


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Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.