Making Medical Tradeshows Relevant: What Doctors Really Want in an Exhibit Hall

A newly released study conducted by Maryland-based Shugoll Research on behalf of the Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA), discussed what physicians really want from tradeshows. The survey shows that doctors consider tradeshows an important way to see everything related to their specialty in one place, at one time. They want their tradeshows to be staffed with knowledgeable experts who use educational techniques when demonstrating new products. Doctors want an experiential and invigorating environment underscored by low-pressure selling tactics. In other words, they want exhibitors to make going to the show a more enjoyable learning experience.

These critiques can really help exhibitors revamp their exhibitions to make them more memorable, while increasing sales. When an exhibitor better understands the interests and preferences of physicians, they are more successful. With a little planning, on-the-floor measurement and evaluation, an exhibitor can maximize the value of their tradeshows for years to come.


Here are some steps to capitalize on the feedback from this survey.

  • Doctors expect to learn new information. The survey suggests doctors like an exhibition to be grouped by therapeutic or product area. Implementing RFID technology can help you determine the best way to arrange displays based on how much time an attendee spends at a particular display or within an area. Then, the display can be fine tuned, moved or phased out based on the booth configuration that generates the most interest and sales.
  • Doctors want the show floor to be a networking opportunity. The survey noted that doctors like the idea of group selling so booth personnel should be fluent in engaging a group of doctors with common interests. This soft-sell technique will drive leads. When coupled with a customized lead qualification questionnaire, the sales team can better understand the budget authority of the physicians as it relates to their purchase intent. With the proper lead retrieval solution in place, exhibitors can measure cost per lead across all events they participate in. 
  • Doctors also want easier ways to navigate through the exhibit hall. With the request for Wi-Fi access, additional signage and information kiosks, attendees can have easier access to the areas and exhibitors they are most interested in visiting.

By listening to the input from physicians and observing their behaviors with technology such as RFID, exhibitors can measure and understand their objectives, and generate higher quality leads. Every exhibition has a personality and by listening to attendees, exhibitors can expect to maximize their show investment.


Alliance Tech, the leader in RFID event measurement, will be speaking at the upcoming HCEA show in New Orleans, June 26-29, 2010. http://www.hcea.org/meetings_annual.asp