CEIR Blog Manager
Whether the U.S. government officials in generating commerce “get it” or not, exhibitions and events play a big role in the grand scheme of the U.S. economy. Small start-ups to large corporations who are launching new products participate in trade shows because they make good business sense.Countless reports from CEIR address how much of an economic and overall impact this industry has on the general business environment. Here are just a few examples:
- There are more than 2 million organizations exhibiting in business-to-business exhibitions; more than 68 million professionals attended business-to-business exhibitions; more than $11 billion in gross exhibition revenues was generated from all sources of business-to-business exhibitions, including the sale of exhibit space, conference fees, advertising, sponsorships and other sources. (2014 CEIR Index Report: 2013 Results)
- Marketing tactics achieving the highest effectiveness scores include in-person visits with existing customers rated 92 percent, and in-person visits with prospective customers rated at 86 percent (CEIR PE3.11.3 Marketers Find Exhibitions an Essential Marketing and Sales Tactic)
- Most executives at organizations that exhibit understand business-to-business exhibitions deliver a unique value not replaceable by marketing and sales alternatives, citing “the ability to see a large number of prospects and customers over a short period of time” as the most popular benefit. (CEIR PE3.11.4 Exhibitions Offer Unique Value Not Provided by Other Marketing Channels)
- Both exhibition attendees and exhibitors prefer the most intimate forms of face-to-face interactions, either one-on-one interactions with exhibit personnel or one-on-one demonstrations with exhibit staff. The majority of both audiences – 84% of attendees and 90% of exhibitors – rank the chance to interact face-to-face with exhibit personnel as number one. (CEIR F03.12 The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction: Purchase Process and Customer Relationships)
So, what does an industry have to do to get a little credit? Take it straight to the top. And that’s what Exhibitions Day intends to do, by stopping in on Capitol Hill 16-17 June for a little one-on-one time with members of Congress to educate them about the importance of exhibitions and events. No lightweights here: this is a joint effort between the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), Exhibit Designers + Producers Association (EDPA), Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and the U.S. Travel Association (USTA).
As far as we know, this is the largest collaboration yet between the various representative organizations of the exhibitions and events industry so we’ve asked Exhibitions Day co-chairs Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters and Megan Tanel, CEM, Vice President of Exhibitions & Events, Association of Equipment Manufacturers to give us more insight into this major initiative.
Part 1 of this conversation will be posted this Tuesday, May 20. In the meantime, visit www.exhibitionsday.org for details about Exhibitions Day.