The types of trade show attendees, ranked

Trade_Show_Personalities_PXLTDOne thing I didn’t truly consider until we opened the booth on the first night of last week’s World conference are the types of people that visit booths at trade shows. I mean, we certainly considered the various levels of decision makers: The C-suite, developers, analysts, and other practitioner-level people that are there to learn. However, I didn’t really consider what I call trade show “personalities,” but as the show went on I started to group together the archetypes of people that circulate the show floor at conferences.

Here are a few types of trade show personalities you run in to as an exhibitor, in order from least to most desirable:

The free swag ninjas

These are the people who run around and grabbing everything they can while trying to win any giveaways and avoid conversation at the same time. If you blink you may miss them as they are only at your booth for an instant! You can hope they will look you up later when they glance at the pen they grabbed from you, but it’s doubtful.

The scan my badge or give me a stamp on my trade show passport crowd

These are almost the same as the free swag folks (and often the same people), however this subset will stand around longer and ask questions so they don’t come across as rude, but they’ll bolt as soon as they get the chance. Of course, if you’re lucky, they may actually be interested in what you have to say.

The actively seeking a solution or product people

These are the people coming around with a purpose. They often look at the booths from afar and scan your booth loops looking for the keywords or images that may answer the very questions they have in their minds. Many of them quickly approach you and start to talk about the issues they are facing in their organization. These are the types of people that we love to have come around; they are there with a purpose and fit well within our corporate objectives as we are all about being a solution provider and partner to these types of show goers.

Your friends

These are your customers, partners and former colleagues, etc. Often they come by your booth with an objective in mind, but they are probably coming by just to say hello and catch up. These people can be great at a trade show as they can help you to find new engaging conversations through referrals or they can help to talk with prospects or other show goers and drive traffic to your booth.

Thankfully, at the recent MicroStrategy World we got a lot more of the solution people and friends than the hit-and-run types. Hopefully you found it as valuable of a conference as we did!

Are there other personalities you’d add to this list? Be sure to follow Meaghan on Twitter, and Project X Ltd. on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with the latest news and thoughts from the business intelligence and data science community.

For more of our insights from World 2017, visit our World summary page.

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