You Never Showed…Never Came…No Show…

#ExpoChat topic for Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Download the full archive here – ExpoChat-22912

One of the topic suggestions from our survey was…

Should organizers warn exhibitors of low registration? If so, how far in advance should this be done? “what tactics should be used to say sorry for a poor performing expo?

I can honestly tell you that this is something that keeps many show organizers up at night. Do you cross your fingers and hope for last minute registrations or a flood of people at the door?  What if you warn your exhibitors and they all want to pull out? How do you face them when the halls are close to empty? What do you say to them when the show is over?

The first year of my health expo (it was a consumer show so who knows who would show up…you just hoped and prayed your marketing would pay off) we had much fewer attendees than we had anticipated. I felt sick the entire show. I was terrified of my exhibitors and felt that anything I said would be useless. They would never come back again a second year. I feel a little sick now even as I write this as the memory is painfully etched in my entire being.

We stuck it out and year two went much much better. But I can say most of our exhibitors were not returning exhibitors from year one. Even though feedback from year one exhibitors was that half would return in reality only about 5 percent did.  Most of those who said they would return or maybe they would said while they were disappointed in the low turnout they understood it was a first year event.  But there were exhibitors who walked out after day one and some who walked out an hour into day two.

Long story short…I love this topic because quite frankly I have no idea what the answer is. I hope to find out from exhibitors on this week’s #ExpoChat and also from show organizers who’ve been through this nightmare as well.

About Traci Browne

Trade Show Consultant and Freelance Writer
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