Event Management

Maritz Reveals Trade Show Registration Trends

A person holding a piece of paper with charts over a laptop and a calculator

Skift Take

Maritz takes a closer look at new attendee behavior and shares insights on how to optimize revenue and attendance.

Registration trends show that attendees are still registering for events later than before the Covid pandemic. The sense that attendees are waiting longer to commit to attending a show is not new. While this was acutely felt during and coming out of the Covid pandemic, in their latest research, Maritz said that 22% of attendees wait until the final week before a show to register, and nine % don’t register until they arrive on site.

Maritz set out to investigate this matter and released the Maritz Registration Insights Report on Wednesday. The company analyzed over 360,000 attendee registration records for three editions of 30 trade shows over three years. It compared early versus late registrants and examined how their spending and behavior differed.

The findings make for a fascinating profile of today’s trade show attendees. For example, almost half (45%) of attendees registered less than four weeks before the show, and 29% registered in the final two weeks. The reason for this late behavior is unclear, but the report suggests that the Covid pandemic is partly to blame.

Looking deeper into registration trends reveals that first-time attendees are more likely to register late; in fact, around twice as likely as veterans. Unsurprisingly, those living locally without booking a flight are more likely to register late.

What is more interesting from a revenue perspective is that late registrants tend to be among those spending more on non-registration items such as add-on content or social events.

In the report, Maritz shares several strategies for optimizing attendance and revenue, covering marketing, logistics and pricing. The company also recommends that organizers openly share registration data with partners. “Rethink holding your registration data close to the vest. Consider sharing it with suppliers and destination bureaus so all parties have a line of sight into what to expect. By sharing your data and communicating transparently, suppliers might be more willing to play ball.”