The 8 Types Of Exhibition Attendees

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the 8 types
Of Exhibition Attendees

Getting Into The Mindsets Of Exhibition Attendees
The trade show experience is a hectic one, whether you’re there as a trader or an attendee, but when you’re hosting an exhibition stand at a show it’s especially hectic. Not only do you have to contend with the minefield that is exhibition design, organisation, admin and prep, you also have to be a little bit psychic. Getting into the mindsets of the attendees at your show is crucial if you want your exhibition stand to be a roaring success, but it’s not easy. For one thing, there are a lot of different mindsets at work at a trade show, and different visitors will have different expectations, needs, wants, and preferences. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to the various mindsets you will encounter from guests visiting your exhibition stands



Perhaps the simplest mindset to understand, the shopper is there for one thing only: to shop ’til they drop. Shoppers crave escapism and a little retail therapy. There may be specific things they’re looking for or they may simply be there for the experience. If they’re after something in particular and you don’t sell it, the trick is to entice them to look at your stand through beautiful, outlandish, and clever exhibition
– they may not want what you have, but if you’re interesting enough, they will take a gander anyway. Of all the visitors you will have, the shopper is the most likely to make an impulse purchase. Make it easy for them to do so!


social butterfly

The social butterfly attends exhibitions as much to be seen as to see what is on offer. They are there to network, shore up existing relationships, and make new ones. You will find them hoarding and handing out business cards by the dozen or more, and loitering at post-show dinner parties, happy hours, and other swanky soirees. Connect with these guests by having elegant and interesting business cards readily available, and taking a keen interest in their own businesses. When you run into them in the bar or dining area (and you will, they basically live there) take the time to schmooze.



There to pillage and plunder, this type of attendee is also easily understood: they’re after SWAG. They collect pens and bookmarks, hoard bags, go nuts for keychains and have an uncanny knack of winning giveaways. They will ravage your stand of freebies and return to their respective lairs victorious, to share the spoils of war with their colleagues.They will spend days, weeks, and months reading your name and details of the stuff they swipe from you. Pillagers aren’t about the immediate sell but the long haul and they can be very lucrative, so invest in some decent SWAG!



For the intellectual, there is nothing more valuable than knowledge, the continuation of their education, and the expansion of their skill sets. To appeal to this visitor you need to have something new for them to learn, which will preferably enhance their experience in that area by increasing their productivity, raising their profits, or streamlining a particular process. Scholars are there to learn, so make sure you’re teaching them something!



These guys play hard ball. They know what they want, they know what they need, they will scour the trade show collecting brochures, watching demos, making notes, and gathering all the facts of the case. They won’t buy on the day, but will instead return to their base of operations, survey the facts, and make a solid case for the product or service they believe is superior to all others considered. They’re not after flash or flair, they want to know what will work best and why.



There for the experience as much as anything else, explorers revel in the atmosphere of the trade show. They stop at every stall, look in every nook and cranny, and eagerly follow the gossip mill to ensure they don’t miss a trick. Explorers like to find new and unexpected things, so crank up the X Factor on your exhibition stand design and try to be enigmatic!


trend setter

These exotic creatures are always on the ball. They know what’s in, what’s out, and what’s likely to be the next big thing. Make sure that you’re bang on trend and try to get ahead of the curve to appeal to the trade show fashionista.



The judge is a no-nonsense character who will tour the trade show and listen to the vendors plead their cases. Once all evidence has been heard the judge will carefully weigh the facts, deliberate on the pros and cons, and deliver a verdict. If you’re lucky they will rule in your favour and you will land a new client.


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