The personality of an event is defined as the primary reason why attendees go to the event. While most are a blend of personalities, typically every event has a dominant personality. The key is to understand the dominant personality and to determine if this personality supports your company’s marketing and sales objectives. With this in mind, you can do a better job of setting objectives and designing exhibiting strategies that align with the event’s personality. This is a critical distinction that very few exhibitors understand or capitalize on.
The four dominant personalities of events are:
- Educational: The primary reason attendees go to educational events are for continuing education, often in the form of credits like CEUs or CEMs, to build credits for a certificate or professional designation. You can determine if an event is an educational event by looking at the number of sessions being held during the event. In an educationally driven event, your exhibiting strategy should be to make your exhibit an adjunct to the educational nature of the event. Emphasizing learning in the exhibit and designing interactive learning experiences is the key to succeeding at these events.
- Scientific/Technical: The primary reason attendees go to scientific/technical events are to keep up with the latest thinking, knowledge and breakthroughs in the industry. These events can be evidenced by a focus on posters, technical papers, and the scientific/technical nature of the sessions. At this type of event, your exhibiting objective should be focused on disseminating or revealing the latest thinking, knowledge and breakthroughs. New product introductions, case studies and hands-on demonstration/presentations are important to succeeding at this type of event.
- Buy/Sell: The primary reason attendees go to buy/sell events is to source products and services. Whether writing orders at the event, or short-listing for post-show purchase analysis, it’s primarily about buying. To succeed in buy/sell events, your company should design show specials that encourage attendees to take immediate purchase action.
- Social/Relationship: The primary reason attendees go to social/relationship events is to connect or reconnect with their colleagues. It’s like the annual gathering of the tribe. This type of event is evident from the high number of social events. Often times, the number of exhibiting hours will be shorter than other events. The organizer will attempt to drive traffic to the exhibit hall through food and beverage. To succeed in this event, the use of in-booth hospitality and well-timed, well organized hospitality events around the city and show venue will go a long way to helping your company succeed.