Have you ever wondered why some trade show exhibit halls seem to be packed with people during all the exhibiting hours regardless of whether the show is for 2 days or 5 days and other shows seem to resemble a ghost town after day 1 or 2. Well I recently did some observation on what the full exhibit halls offered that the somewhat empty halls were lacking. The #1 reason I noticed was food.
It appeared that the exhibit halls that had full breakfast buffets versus the simple coffee and bagels attracted a much larger early morning audience. My theory is that attendees much more preferred staying in bed longer (especially after a late night) and going to the hotel Starbucks for coffee and a muffin/bagel versus getting up early and racing down to the exhibit hall for the same coffee/bagel. Now on the other hand most would rise earlier for a full hardy breakfast buffet.
I noticed that mid-morning breaks in the exhibit hall with coffee, soft drinks and snacks such as fruit and breads attracted a large audience as many people needed that quick meal to hold them over until lunch.
Interestingly, I found the afternoon exhibit hall hours seem to be the time when most people preferred to spend some me time in the hallways answering emails, returning messages and conversing with one another. However, the shows that load the exhibit hall during the afternoon breaks with items such as cookies, candy, popcorn, soft drinks and energy drinks seemed to have an incredibly more populated hall than those that did not. It appears to me that most people need that afternoon sugar buzz to get them through the rest of the day in sessions.
Lastly, with no surprise to any of us, the opening reception with plenty of food and cocktails drew the largest reception.
For more information on how to get more people into your exhibit hall please email John Olis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 847-426-3100.