How to Write a Tradeshow Vendor Survey

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If you want to learn about how your tradeshow vendors felt about your conference and the tradeshow within it, you will need to survey them. You spent hours putting together the conference and the tradeshow. Wouldn't it be a shame not to know what you could do better or differently next year so that you can maintain vendor loyalty.

  • What To Consider Before Writing Your Survey
    Consider what is important to your tradeshow vendors. Will they reach their target audience, will your tradeshow meet their business goals, and did you make things easy for them? In addition, what information are you seeking and are you willing to make the necessary changes.

  • Should the Survey Be Anonymous?
    There are pros and cons to both. If the survey is anonymous you'll never know which tradeshow vendor had the bad experience. On the other hand if it isn't anonymous you might not get totally truthful responses. A happy medium would be to make the survey anonymous and then follow-up with your vendors by sending them the aggregated survey results and then calling them to discuss it. Vendors will be much more likely to open up about what they didn't like if others felt the same way.

  • What Questions Should I Ask?
    -Pre-conference exhibitor packets were timely and helpful.
    We got all questions answered to help our company decide whether to
    attend this conference.
    -Our company was happy with the booth space location.
    -The booth space was sufficient and the cost of the rental fee met the needs of my company/organization.
    -The conference check-in process was smooth and well organized.
    -The number of tradeshow attendees I met with during the conference made
    it worth attending.
    -Do you plan to attend again next year? If not, why not.

    After each of these questions, leave plenty of room for comments.

  • What Is the Best Delivery Method?
    You could use the good old pen and paper method with a stamped return envelope, but this is the 21st century. There are great tools out there to help you accomplish this task without spending hours tallying up the survey results. Survey Monkey is a wonderful tool that is free if you have fewer than 100 responses and it will do all the tallying work for you. Putting together a survey on Survey Monkey is also very intuitive and easy. So unless you like tallying numbers, this tool is totally the way to go.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to change your tradeshow next year.
  • Debrief the responses with your team after the tradeshow and plan what changes you will incorporate next year.
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