Use Data-Driven Design to Improve Trade Show Performance

Industry Insights and Trends

Is your exhibit failing to deliver?

Your trade show booth may be innovative and attractive, but that doesn’t matter if your audience isn’t connecting with it. In the consumer-centric world we live in, exhibits that speak directly to visitors’ needs will gain more hearts and checkbooks. Even in the B2B space.

How do you design to meet those needs? By using data you’ve gathered to inform design decisions from the very beginning.

What is Data-Driven Design?

Simply put, data-driven design means designing for people — in this case, your intended trade show audience.  

You’ve spent valuable time and resources capturing gigabytes of data about your prospects and customers from a variety of sources. Now, it’s time to put that information to work. 

Analyzing the data will help you understand your audience’s wants, needs, and behaviors. And that is the foundation for designing a booth that will deliver the experience and information they’re actually looking for. 

Build on What You Know

The business landscape is littered with companies that built a product first and then went looking for a market — exactly the opposite of what the most successful companies do. With the scope of information about your market available, there’s no reason your exhibit should fail to perform. 

It’s important to understand that data-driven design is more than collecting numbers. It’s about understanding the motivations behind the numbers by truly understanding your audiences. 

Start with your target audience.

  • Do you want to attract new people, cater to your current clients, or close deals?
  • What do you know about the audiences you are targeting?
  • Are your booth visitors just browsing or ready to buy? 

Booth visitors are at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Here’s a quick overview to guide you in how to present your brand and determine which solutions to offer. 

  • Awareness Stage: The prospect realizes they have a problem. They are doing research to understand and name their problem.
  • Consideration Stage: The prospect has defined their problem and is researching options to solve it.
  • Decision Stage: The prospect is ready to select a solution to their problem.

Next, identify the pain points of your past trade show booth experiences.

  • Did the booth design resonate with your audience?
  • Did you have issues getting people excited about visiting your booth?
  • Was the interaction between your staff and audience easy?
  • Did you receive purchase commitments?
  • Did you book follow-up appointments?  

The data you need is not limited to your trade show experiences.

  • Your website is a fount of knowledge about your customers. They’re telling you what they’re interested in there. Are you listening?
  • Your sales team should be a golden resource. These are the people having real-time conversations with your audience. What can they tell you?

With a solid understanding of your audiences, you can use data to brainstorm ideas for your exhibit, whether you are starting from scratch or optimizing your current booth. Remember: In the end, it doesn’t matter how much you love your trade show booth. It only matters what your audience thinks.    

EDE can help you build an audience-focused experience by using a data-driven design approach. Contact us as you prepare for your next big exhibit.


Get trade show tips, reports, checklists and more delivered to your inbox once a month by signing up to the Trade Show Marketing blog.

Related Articles

The Storyteller’s Playbook: Mastering Brand Narratives

The Storyteller’s Playbook: Mastering Brand Narratives

If you don’t nail your narrative, you end up telling the wrong story to the wrong audience. What you’ll find when you keep reading:     -5 reasons you should embrace storytelling;     -Where to begin your story and why it’s at the end;     -The Storyteller’s Toolkit; ...

Travel Tips: Health Edition!

Travel Tips: Health Edition!

Travel Tips: Health Edition! Staying healthy while constantly traveling for work can feel impossible. Two of our world travelers shared eight tips for keeping fit and sane on the road. As an event professional zipping around the globe for those all-important trade...

Why Are Costs Going Up? We Asked an Organizer.

Why Are Costs Going Up? We Asked an Organizer.

Ask a Show Organizer: Rising Costs of Trade Shows Feel the pinch because you can’t fight the rising cost of trade shows. Everyone suffers — show organizers, exhibitors, suppliers, and attendees. Prove ROI with available digital tools such as exhibitor dashboards and...