New Research Helps Exhibitors See into the Minds of IT Pros

Posted by on January 17, 2018

It would make your job a lot easier if you could read the minds of the IT pros visiting your trade show booth, don’t you think? Reading this post will get you as close as possible to doing just that without any special powers. That’s because UBM conducted an online survey of business and technology professionals in North America to understand their technology decision making process. The results provide technology trade show exhibitors with insight into how IT professionals make purchasing decisions as well as how much money they plan to spend in the near term and in which areas.

Before we dig into the results, here’s a look at the survey respondents. Most of the 285 respondents are director/manager of IT, IT staff or IT executives. Twenty-four percent have annual company revenue of more than $1 billion, while 14% are government/nonprofit. Most (40%) work for a company with 1,000 or more employees. The survey margin of error is +/- 5.7%.

And now, without further ado…here are the top takeaways exhibitors need to know about the prospective IT customers they talk to at trade shows:

Who They Are

  • 76% make technology decisions for multiple departments (47% make technology decisions for the entire organization)
  • $2.2 million is the average personal purchase involvement
  • The average company IT budget is $245 million (52% say their budget will increase in 2018)
  • The top five technologies they plan to purchase in the next 12 months are: cloud technology, infrastructure, network security (firewalls, VPN), networking and IT training or education

Mind of IT Pros at Trade Shows

  • 84% say they are somewhat willing or very willing to look at new vendors
  • They cite trade shows as the number one way they “determine the need” and “set the vendor short list” during the purchase process
  • The purchase process is a fast 3-6 months, on average (except for contact centers and enterprise service management purchases which can take one year or longer)
  • 68% say at least one third of the purchasing process is already complete by the time they engage with a tech sales representative
  • Top dealbreaker? 63% said when “vendor is selling, not educating”

The research shows the door is open for technology vendors to secure new business and trade show interactions are an important part of that process. Knowing a little bit more about what’s going on inside the minds of the IT pros visiting your booth can help you craft stronger sales messages and ask the right questions, ultimately increasing your trade show ROI. Exhibitors should carefully analyze these findings and use them to provide the best value to their prospects.

Need even more information about your IT prospects? View the complete “Mind of the IT Pro” research in the slideshow to get more details.