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The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced today the release of the first report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights. Reports from this exciting new, landmark study offers organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the profile of attendees that visit an exhibition repeatedly and the content that turns them into a loyal fanbase. The series consists of five reports, beginning with Part One: Basics for Creating Your Attendee Retention Strategy: Tracking, Profiling and Why They Come Back.

“This study series offers organizers a resource to help them benchmark their attendee retention efforts with industry norms or a guide post on how to start attendee retention efforts,” noted CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM.  “This series explores how exhibition organizers engage in attendee retention efforts and provides profile data on repeat/loyal attendees or alumni, in addition to what motivates them to visit a specific exhibition repeatedly.”

Key findings from Part One: Basics for Creating Your Attendee Retention Strategy: Tracking, Profiling and Why They Come Back reflect that 77 percent of top-ranked exhibition organizers track attendee retention.  Among those that engage in this practice, 98 percent track retention on a per attendee basis and 48 percent track retention on a per attendee organization basis.

The most popular definition of “retention” applies to those who attend at least two of the past four editions of an exhibition. This definition is used by 81 percent of organizers who track attendee retention and 86 percent who track attendee organization retention. Based on this definition, results reveal that retention rates are: 58.9 percent per attendee, and 65.8 percent per attendee organization.

Repeat attendees represent a higher concentration of who exhibitors aim to encounter at a business-to-business exhibition; i.e., of those who have purchasing influence and are higher ranked in their organizations.

Launched in the fall of 2015, the 2016 Attendee Retention Insights series focuses on the largest trade shows in the U.S. to understand what generates loyalty among attendees and how event organizers motivate them to return on a regular basis. Input was sought from organizer and repeat attendee perspectives. The resulting reports offer readers a road map for benchmarking attendee retention strategy practices with industry norms; an understanding of commonly held characteristics of professionals who attend a given event regularly; and insights to guide organizers in their marketing and event development.

Lastly, the 2016 Attendee Retention Insights reports offer charts that compare repeat attendee wants and preferences to trade show offerings, which enable organizers to assess where repeat attendee needs are typically served well – and where gaps exist in offerings – suggesting potential areas of improvement.

Remaining reports in the 2016 Attendee Retention Insights to be published in the next several months are:

  • Part Two: Exhibition Floor Features that Build a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience
  • Part Three: Education Content that Builds a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience
  • Part Four: Special Activities and Amenities that Build a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience
  • Part Five: Eleven Real-world Business-to-Business Exhibition Organizer Attendee Retention Approaches

Click here to download Part One: Basics for Creating Your Attendee Retention Strategy: Tracking, Profiling and Why They Come Back.

About CEIR
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.

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Media Inquiries:
Mary Tucker
+1(972) 687-9226
mtucker@ceir.org