After a year of a tumultuous U.S. administration and erratic policies, the exhibitions industry continues to grow and prove that face-to-face interactions are important in the business model. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) provides countless insights for the exhibitions industry on attendee engagement, show strategy and much more.
Note: International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and CEIR subscribers can download most of these reports for free!
2017 CEIR Index Report
The CEIR Index Report was developed to provide an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry. It is the leading industry resource tracking overall market performance of business-to-business exhibitions in the United States. It offers a valuable tool for strategic planning, benchmarking and evaluating business development opportunities.
Exhibition Forecast: Growth will pick up the pace to around 2.5% in 2017 before accelerating to 2.8% expansion in both 2018 and 2019.
2017 Attendee Floor Engagement
Reports from this landmark research offer exhibitors and organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the range of attendee engagement tactics used on the exhibition floor and, more importantly, which of these tactics enjoy high attendee usage – a signal of high engagement.
Part 1: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics – People, Product, Learning, Emotion and Other Tactics looks at attendee engagement tactics in an exhibitor booth, including those that offer to deliver attendee engagement with other people, with product, learning tactics, se of emotion to engage with attendees and other tactics.
The Popular Crowd: When it comes to people-to-people engagement, the chance to talk with booth staff enjoys the highest attendee use. Marketing and sales staff are most popular.
Part 2: Use of Exhibition Organizer Digital Tactics and Other Services inventories the most popular exhibition organizer digital tactics, which are most commonly offered, used by exhibitors and which of these are found to enjoy high attendee use. It also inventories the array of other organizer services that help support exhibitor in-booth attendee engagement efforts.
Room for Improvement: 94% of exhibition organizers offer an array of digital tactics while only 62% of exhibitors use one or more of these offerings.
Part 3: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics – Methods Used to Evaluate Outcomes includes an overview of how exhibitors evaluate the outcome of attendee engagement efforts and how metrics tie back to top-ranked important objectives for exhibiting. In addition to total results, this report identifies unique differences by exhibitor by industry sector, the extent of exhibition activity and other key demographics.
Success Stat: 94% of exhibitors use attendee engagement tactics to impact their overall important objectives for exhibiting. Results indicate that integrating attendee engagement tactics is effective in impacting outcomes for the better.
Part 4: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics – Looking to the Future – Areas to Improve and Interest in New Models looks forward, identifying how exhibitors plan to improve their exhibiting approach, what they are advocating to organizers to help them be more successful, as well as quantifying the extent of openness, interest in exploring new exhibition floor layouts and models.
In This Together: Most exhibitors are engaged and committed to using the business-to-business (B2B) exhibition channel and intend to invest in improvements to augment the positive outcomes for exhibiting.
Part 5: Exhibition Floor Networking Opportunities Outside Exhibit Booths takes a look at the range of networking opportunities exhibition organizers make available on the show floor beyond exhibit booths. It assesses the extent that exhibitors sponsor or participate in these activities and evaluates the level of attendee use of each.
Ready to Mingle?: 98% of organizers offer networking activities outside exhibit booths, but less than 26% of exhibitors have sponsored them in the past two years.
Part 6: Exhibition Floor Product Engagement Activities Outside Exhibit Booths looks at the range of product engagement opportunities exhibition organizers make available on the show floor beyond exhibit booths. It assesses the extent that exhibitors sponsor or participate in these activities and evaluates the level of attendee use for each.
Feel it Out: New product demo areas where attendees can actually try out products is the setting that enjoys the highest attendee use.
Part 7: Exhibition Floor Learning Activities Outside Exhibit Booths takes a look at the range of learning opportunities exhibition organizers make available on the show floor beyond exhibit booths. It assesses the extent that exhibitors sponsor or participate in these activities and evaluates the level of attendee use for each.
Show Floor Tip: When it comes to exhibition floor learning activities, interactive formats are more likely to enjoy the highest level of attendee use.
Part 8: Exhibition Organizers – Methods Used to Evaluate Outcome, Areas to Improve, Interest in New Models includes an overview of how exhibition organizers evaluate the outcome of attendee engagement activities, where organizers intend to enhance attendee engagement offerings on the show floor in the near-term as well as consideration of other models, floor layouts and other options under consideration.
Hungry for Success: The report uncovers an appetite for looking beyond today’s traditional trade show floor model, with more than half saying they are considering new floor models and floor layouts to enhance attendee engagement in the next several years.
With such a vast and diverse membership, CEIR appreciates insights from leaders in the forefront of the exhibition and events industry. In order for the industry to be successful for many years to come, the industry must thrive on change and innovation. For their contribution to the Industry Insights series, CEIR gives our sincerest gratitude to our guest authors – Dana Tilghman, CTSM Diamond Level, CMP and Samuel J. Smith.
Steps to Build a Client-Centric Speaker Bureau for Your Exhibit Program by Dana Tilghman, CTSM Diamond Level, CMP
Dana is an industry veteran for more than 20 years and works as the Senior Trade Show & Events Planner at Minitab, Inc., a leading statistical software company. The report makes a compelling case for including a speaker program as part of an exhibit program.
Quote of the Day: “The voice of the customer is a powerful one and the results have been amazing.”
Leading event technology innovator, Samuel J. Smith, Managing Director, Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC offers readers a straightforward overview on gamification and how it can help generate leads for exhibitors.
What To Expect: Quick explanation on how games pull people into your booth and how you can best get more leads and engagement with games.
Cost to Attract Attendees
Marketing for an event is never an easy task. CEIR released an updated version of the Cost to Attract Attendees Report, an invaluable resource for executives responsible for attendee marketing for business-to-business exhibitions.
Doing More with Less: The biggest take away from this study shows that overall attendee marketing budgets have not grown and the per verified attendee cost has declined, suggesting attendee marketers are delivering larger crowds despite flat or lower budgets.
How the Exhibit Dollar is Spent
Originally published in 2014, the How the Exhibit Dollar is Spent report focuses on where exhibitors spend their marketing dollars on trade shows and provides insights to exhibitors, organizers as well as suppliers. The report helps exhibitors benchmark their spending allocations to industry norms and helps organizers and suppliers understand how much of the exhibitor dollar they are capturing.
On the Rise: In 2017, exhibitor direct spending rose to $25.3 billion in nominal dollars.
In partnership with a2z, Inc., CEIR has released a new and free tool to members. The Exhibitor Retention Benchmarking Tool calculates the exhibitor retention rate for your event and measure it against key benchmarks, such as overall exhibition industry and industry sector. Plug in your exhibitor counts and an easy visualization of your data is produced in just seconds.
All this research and tools are readily available at your fingertips. Stay tuned for what’s to come in 2018 for CEIR. Subscribe to our blog for the most current and up-to-date research on the events and exhibitions industry.