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What ARE they thinking?

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On April 29, 2019, Posted by , In Uncategorized, By ,,, , With Comments Off on What ARE they thinking?

Exploring the psychology behind exhibition attendees and how you can leverage this to make your stand work even harder for you.

We have been taking a closer look at the psychology behind exhibition attendees and seeing what makes a show a success from their point of view. Their experience is based on their own perceptions and these perceptions, real or imagined, are influenced by their own emotions and emotional responses to any situations or cues they have encountered during their visit. You cannot control what they are feeling, but you can do your best to subtly influence them.

What they hope to gain from an event is likely very different from what you as an exhibitor are looking to achieve, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be mutually beneficial for both parties.

By understanding more of their motivation and aspirations it will help you, as an exhibitor, to tailor your stand and exhibition experience to gratify their needs and will help us to create the perfect stand to deliver this for you. Loosely based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which explores the theory of the motivations that drive people’s perceptions, actions and ultimately their feeling of value and self-esteem. Exhibition and trade show attendees share much in common with this 1943 theory which is still one of the mainstays of marketing theory over 70 years since its original publication.

Physical Comfort

Explanation: This can override so much of any experience, if you are physically uncomfortable it will inhibit your ability to concentrate on what you are being shown or reading, all thought will be on ‘getting the ordeal over with’ as quickly as possible. Equally if the venue has been difficult to find or access, then an attendees thoughts might already be focussing on their homeward journey and therefore they are not fully engaged for the duration of the show. The temperature of the halls may be an issue, or if the exhibition is overcrowded this can all significantly influence their perception of the event.

How you can influence this:
Whilst much of this may be out of your hands, they are actions you can take to mitigate negative influences as much as possible.
• Ensure there is enough space on your stand to offer a refuge from crowds and a space for them to feel comfortable and relaxed.
• While you cannot change the temperature in the venue, maybe ensure you have water available to offer attendees.
• Relatively small, but thoughtful gestures can make a big difference to their perception of your brand.

 

Emotional Security

Explanation: This could be the ease of navigation around the exhibition, it is easy enough to find the stands you are looking for. Is the colour scheme on your stand setting the right mood or atmosphere, there is a lot of colour research available online which hives more details on consumers unconscious preconceptions linked to colours, do you want your stand to be exciting & daring, dependable & solid, calm & relaxing – there is research aplenty out there to help identify the right colour palette to put your customers as ease.

How you can influence this:
• Make sure your stand is as visible as possible, can your logo and stand be seen clearly from further away down the aisle?
• If you are inviting customers to come and visit your stand, ensure they have clear directions and details on how to find you so they don’t have to spend time looking for you, raising their anxiety levels as they do so.
• Advertise your attendance as much as possible, Social Media is really useful for this – attendees will feel more comfortable walking onto a stand they have already heard of and know what they are walking into.
• Try to avoid a perceived ‘ambush’ situation, it will make visitors less likely to enter your stand if they feel they are about to be pounced on by overzealous sales representatives.
• A combination of clear information for them to access or read for themselves, as well as an open plan stand will encourage visitors to come in and see for themselves what you are offering, but they will still need some added incentive to do so – this could be something interactive, a demonstration or something that will intrigue them to draw them closer to find out more.

 

Welcomed, Valued & Wanted

Explanation: A welcoming stand needs to have as few barriers as possible to encourage visitors onto the stand. These could be physical barriers such as tables or display stands themselves, or perceived barriers. Once you have encouraged them onto your stand, how will you engage with them and make them feel like a valued visitor rather than feeling that they are being ‘sold at’.

How you can influence this:
• Did you know that a distinct change in carpet or floor colouring can be a barrier to entry? The visitor themselves probably won’t be aware, but subconsciously visitors may be reluctant to cross from one strong colour to another. (This can be used to your advantage if you wanted to create a VIP area for example).
• Check your stand for accessibility – are the entry points wide enough to accommodate several people, avoid anything that might appear to create a bottleneck for stand visitors. Do you really need the displays along the front and sides of the stand, are there a few different entry and exit points to prevent people feeling ‘trapped’ once they are in.
• Staff training is key here – one train of thought is to utilise your Customer Services team rather than leaving it to a dedicated sales team. A Customer Service member will have an understanding of the usual questions and concerns that those buying tier products have and are therefore perfectly positioned, and fully trained on the products themselves, to put any doubts out of the visitors’ mind.
• Welcoming friendly staff are a must – a smile can go a long way and will make the staff more approachable.
• Body language – both theirs and your staff’s is important to notice. A nervous stand visitor may not appreciate an immediate interaction and staff with arms folded or inattentive may prevent a visitor from even walking on to your stand.
• Entice them onto your stand with the promise of a fun or informative interactive experience. This could be using technology in the form of a game, or something as simple as trying your product your for themselves
• Giveaways can form part of this. Carefully thought out giveaways can be used as a thank you for visiting your stand. Try to avoid putting the higher perceived value items on the front of the stand for people to pick up and walk on – a USB drive or a good quality pen for example, handed over AFTER you have engaged with the visitor will have a much higher perceived value and they will feel more valued as a result.

 

Appreciated & Esteemed

Explanation: They are attending this show because they are at the very least interested in the subject matter, but there is a strong possibility that they themselves are experts in some aspect of it. If their expertise is acknowledged by exhibitors and any interaction customised to match their level of experience, they will feel more esteemed. This is also a great opportunity for your staff to learn more from your customers, so listening is a key skill.

How you can influence this:
• People love to talk about what they know well – make the most of this and they will feel valued and more likely to engage on a deeper level.
• Positivity – encourage staff to engage visitors on an equal level and avoid lecturing them with a pre-written sales spiel.
• Staff training –knowledgeable staff representing you are a must; untrained staff could damage your credibility in the minds of potential customers. A visitor wants to feel like they are talking to ‘The Expert’. Equally encourage staff to listen to the visitors comments, and share any useful information with your team.

 

Personal Fulfilment

Explanation: A visitor to a show will generally view a show as a success if they have learned something that they can take away and apply in their own day to day work, or life in general. This is the difference to your event success – will you be remembered?

How you can influence this:
• Keep in mind how the visitor could use any information or service you provide, possibly provide them with contact details for someone to contact after the show if they have any questions.
• What could they have learned from your stand? Is there anything you can give them to take away that will act as a useful prompt for their reference.
• The aim is to be memorable – the stronger the emotional response or connection you can nurture with a visitor, the stronger their memory of your brand will be.

 

If you have an event coming up that you are considering, let us know what you are looking for and we will help you acheive it.  Our job is to make the logistics in your life easier!

UK & EUROPE Tel: +44 203 780 0666   /  info@ebiss.co.uk

USA: Tel: +1 815 516 5084  /  info@ebiss-usa.com

 

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