Do Exhibitions Offer Unique Value to Exhibitors?

This post written by Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Research Director

I’m feeling a little philosophical today. On this Friday morn, as I ruminate on the good fortune of working for this amazing industry, I think, what is it about exhibitions that make it a face-to-face marketing vehicle of choice for so many organizations?

Having almost double-majored in philosophy in college, I had the pleasure of studying the Existentialist philosophers. Well, pleasure perhaps may not be the best word; some of them are a bit sullen. Existentialists like to look at issues straight on, willing to accept answers to tough questions, good or bad. In the Changing Environment of Exhibitions Study, CEIR posed such a question. Exhibitors were asked the question below, and as you see, one answer in bold offered them the choice of indicating that they did not see any unique value.

 Which statements capture the key value proposition of exhibiting that cannot be fulfilled by other marketing or sales channels?  Check a maximum of three.

Face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers (relationship building)
Ability to see a large number of prospects and customers over a short period of time
Is more time and cost-effective than sales calls or visits
Ability to meet with a wide variety of players face-to-face; customers, suppliers, etc.
Ability to interact with colleagues, exchange ideas, develop strategies and benefit from other synergistic effects of in-person dialogue
Opportunity to demonstrate new and existing products or services
Chance for prospects and customers to interact, experience one’s products or services
Attendees can provide more and better feedback on product or service performance
Ability to keep track of competitors and their products or services
Other Please Specify: ________________________________________

None of the above, exhibitions do not offer a unique value

Turns out that nearly all exhibiting companies, 99 percent find unique value that cannot be fulfilled by other channels. That’s pretty substantial. The fact sheet reporting results to this question are available at the following link: Exhibitions Offer Unique Value Not Provided by Other Marketing Channels.

 The ultimate conclusion about which statements rise to the top in popularity in response to this question is that exhibitions have the unique value of enabling companies to achieve multiple, high priority marketing and sales objectives in a short period of time, in one location. When an exhibition delivers the right mix of a target audience, it offers an opportunity that cannot be replicated in a time and cost-efficient manner.

Take a look at this report, and if you are an exhibitor reading this blog, please share your comments about how exhibitions are of unique value to your organization.

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