When the notorious criminal of the 1930s, Willie Sutton, was asked why he robbed banks, he replied, "That’s where the money is". If asked why they focus their efforts on exhibitors and sponsors, trade show organizers would likely give a similar answer. But would it be entirely accurate?
If the "right attendees" have not shown up in the past, it is unlikely that you will be able to convince exhibitors and sponsors of the wisdom of participating in your event.
What do you need to convince them? Empirical data, not anecdotal evidence. And the data better be more than mere numbers ("We had 30,000 attendees from 35 states…"). No, exhibitors and sponsors want to know who, when, where and why. Who attended?: job title, company affiliation, purchasing authority. When did they attend?: The first day? The last? For 2 hours? For 2 days? Where did they visit?: Which exhibits, seminars, and sponsored events? Why did they attend?: To learn about products? To buy products? To attend educational seminars and if so, which ones? To meet their peers?
Bring in the attendees and exhibitors and sponsors will follow. Build your compelling case to present to exhibitors and sponsors. Read the document: How can Bartizan help my exhibitors and me be more effective? This document will give you hard facts and examples for selling-up the benefits of lead retrieval. Download at http://www.bartizan.com/