Low‐frequency electrostatic turbulence generated by the ion–ion beam instability was investigated experimentally in a double‐plasma device. Real time signals were recorded and examined by a conditional statistical analysis. Conditionally averaged potential distributions reveal the formation and propagation of structures with a relatively long lifetime. Various methods for making a conditional analysis are discussed and compared. The results are discussed with reference to ion phase space vortices and clump formation in collisionless plasmas.