CEIR Releases New Report in the Series of the Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction



BREAKING NEWS: CEIR Releases New Report in the series
of The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction

DALLAS, 18 September 2012 – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released Purchase Process and Customer Relationships. This report is the third in a series which will be released over the next quarter from the landmark study, The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction.

This document offers valuable insights regarding where attendees and exhibitors place high importance on engaging face-to-face at exhibitions at each stage of the customer continuum, including before a purchase is made, at the moment of purchase and customer interactions post-purchase. It identifies where attendee and exhibitor priorities are aligned and where there are gaps. It also identifies the face-to-face settings at exhibitions most preferred by both audiences.

This report reveals that the 'sweet spots' for exhibitions lie in the pre-purchase and post-purchase relationship management phases. More than a majority of exhibitors and attendees assign high importance to interacting face-to-face at exhibitions at all pre-purchase stages. Many attendees also place high importance on interacting for the purpose of maintaining relationships with vendors after they buy, with 63 percent of attendees assigning high importance and 76 percent of exhibitors.

When it comes to settings for face-to-face interactions at exhibitions, the most preferred are one-on-one interactions.  Over half of attendees, 56 percent, and over two-thirds of exhibitors, 67 percent, rank this setting number one.  No other setting comes close for top ranking, with product demonstrations the second most mentioned by 20 percent of attendees and 19 percent of exhibitors.

CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau, PRC, said, "This report provides a road map for exhibitors to understand attendee priorities, how to position information shared in face-to-face conversations with what is useful for attendees at the purchase stages they find important to discuss at exhibitions. It also clearly identifies the popularity of one-on-one interactions, which signals the importance of exhibitor training. Attendees want to meet the face or the people behind a company. This result suggests having the right staff with the right skill set and approach is essential to exhibiting success. An upcoming report will provide results relating to exhibit staff practices."

The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction study series examines the long-term value of face-to-face marketing and exhibitions in particular in light of major economic fluctuations and the influx of technology and alternative marketing tactics, including digital media. More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors participated in this initiative. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation and is available at www.ceir.org.

CEIR serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position. For additional information, visit www.ceir.org.