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Trade Show Attendees Waiting Longer to Register

The vast majority of trade shows still offer early bird discounts, but about half of attendees register less than a month before the event, according to the Trade Show News Network’s recent attendee registration survey.

The survey found that 83% of show organizers offer early bird discounts or a limited number of tickets for registration, while only 17% do not.

Although early bird discounts still play a role in influencing registration patterns, the trend has shifted. Attendees now tend to register later in the show cycle, which has altered the early bird strategy for some events. Despite this, one trade show management company reported its pre-registration numbers are currently at 95% of pre-pandemic levels across its B2B events in 2023, on average.

TSNN reported that multiple trade show management companies have seen a jump in onsite registration, which may indicate that last-minute decision-making and attendee indecisiveness remain a challenge for organizers. The most notable new trend Informa has seen this year is a higher percentage of people registering on-site than last year. For example, three of its recent traded events showed an average 71% increase in onsite registrations.

Organizers should pay attention to the trends of who is using early bird discounts. Long-time, “legacy” attendees seem to take advantage of those incentives, according to one convention data company, which could mean early bird discounts take away from event revenue without bringing in new attendees.

Trade show companies should also consider adding another mid-cycle tier of advance ticket pricing. The option would allow attendees to register later but still provide incentives to register at least two weeks before an event.

For more information about TSNN’s attendee registration survey, read the full article here.