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Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced the release of the second report of the popular new series, the CEIR Digital Toolkit. The second report in this series is Focus Report on Exhibitor Offerings and it documents the digital essentials that maximize the attendee experience during their business-to-business exhibition journey.

Exhibitors are faced with a myriad of digital solutions to use throughout the event lifecycle to connect and engage with attendees. Businesses are forced to make best guess choices with their limited resources. Which digital tactics are essential to use and which are best ignored? This report provides help as it offers a comprehensive overview of digital tactics that attendees value and expect during their attendee journey and compares these preferences to what exhibitors use. This report reveals where exhibitor offerings align with attendee preferences and where they miss the mark. It is a practical resource for benchmarking and prioritizing digital efforts.

CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey, CEM notes, “We are pleased to offer the second report in this series. This particular report is a ‘must have’ resource for exhibitors. It provides a framework to help exhibitors position their digital tactics to align with what attendees want and ultimately to maximize their exhibit success.”

Key findings from this focus report:

  • A digital multichannel mix is a must to reach and attract attendees to a booth. Attendees rely on more digital tactics than the majority of exhibitors use in their pre-event marketing efforts.
  • Exhibitors are wise to assure their offerings are well positioned on an exhibition’s website as most attendees engage in pre-planning. A minimum requirement is to be on the searchable product directory though results suggest other interactive features are more effective in driving booth traffic.
  • In assessing what drives booth traffic, exhibitors need to understand their power. Attendees respond to their marketing overtures: exhibitor emails among other digital tactics.
  • Additionally, exhibitors are wise to assure they are well positioned on an exhibition’s mobile app. Forty-four percent of attendees download an exhibition’s mobile app.
  • Exhibitors are doing an adequate job in-booth in delivering digital tactics that align with attendee preferences, though there is room for enhancing attendee satisfaction.
  • Exhibitor methods for analyzing the performance of in-booth digital tactics is low tech for a majority of exhibitors; done post-event, precluding the ability to react and adjust efforts in real-time.
  • Exhibitor post-event communication methods are aligned adequately with attendee preferences, email in particular. Despite this alignment, except for email and phone follow-up, results suggest exhibitors are struggling with how to maximize attendee engagement for many other tactics.

The full report provides detailed insights on each topic area. It also offers interesting results relating to the extent of use of attendee tracking technology and attendee attitudes about the use of this technology on an exhibition floor. Furthermore, the report also details unique attendee preferences by age, gender, industry sector, role in purchasing decisions, organizational size, frequency of attending exhibitions and distance traveled to attend.

Two additional reports from this series will be released soon:

  • Focus Report on Exhibition Organizer Onsite and Post-event Offerings – This report will compare attendee preferences to exhibition organizer digital offerings during an attendee’s journey on-premise and post-event, including a detailed look at an exhibition’s mobile app, other on-premise digital offerings and post-event communications.
  • Focus Report on Attendee Technology Profile – This report will summarize attendee attitudes towards technology, mobile app habits, digital device preferences for business use in general as well as when attending business-to-business exhibitions.

BACKGROUND ON METHODOLOGY

This study involves research from the vantage point of attendees, exhibitors and exhibition organizers. Online survey research was conducted in the summer of 2015. A nationally representative sample of 421 business-to-business exhibition attendees was generated using ResearchNow’s online business panel. Qualified executives at organizations that run or manage business-to-business exhibitions, belonging to IAEE, SISO and PCMA were invited to participate in the organizer study, generating a sample of 194 executives. For the brand marketer perspective, sample from Exhibitracs and Global Experience Specialists was used, to which a total of 186 qualified executives responded.

Special recognition and thanks goes out to Global Experience Specialists (GES) and Feathr for their financial contributions to this study.

Click here to download 2016 Digital Toolkit to Enhance the Attendee Experience, Focus Report on Exhibitor Offerings

The first report released from this study in January was 2016 Digital Toolkit to Enhance the Attendee Experience, Focus Report on Pre-event Communications and Registration Offerings which is downloadable here.

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