CEIR 2015 Research in Review

By Nancy Drapeau, PRC, Research Director

Another year has concluded. Hoping all of you had an enjoyable holiday season. Now it’s time to get back to business!

CEIR conducted many studies last year. To help determine which new reports may be of use to you, l have summarized 2015 activities below.

Market Performance Focus: Each year the CEIR Index is updated, the most current report documents historical performance from 2000 to 2014 and a three-year forecast for 2015 through 2017. 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.

Exhibitor Focus: Several reports are available, offering metrics for benchmarking activities and an inside view of what young brand marketer exhibitors think about trade shows.

  • The Marketing Spend Decision Study tracks the percentage allocation of marketing budget spending across all channels among companies that exhibit at business-to-business exhibitions, statistics are provided across several years. Results document the staying power of the trade show channel, which captures the largest share of exhibitor marketing budgets. It also reports multiyear trends relating to number of exhibitions participated in and booth size.
  • A new landmark study was added to the CEIR library. This report quantifies the extent of use of ROI and other performance metrics by exhibitors for evaluating the outcome of exhibiting. Users identify metrics where they find exhibitions perform best: 2015 Exhibitor ROI and Performance Metrics Practices
  • To assess the future outlook of the industry from the vantage point of young exhibitors, SISO commissioned the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study. Spoiler alert: the outlook is positive though young exhibitors will demand value, organizers take notice!

Attendee Focus: For readers needing guidance for attendee marketing and event content development and a way to determine if attendees in their sector have unique preferences or are in line with trade show attendee preferences in general, this report can help, Industry Sector Infographic on What Attendees Want Study Results. Each topic area is summarized in quick to read infographics: preferences for information sources relied upon when searching for exhibitions to attend, reasons for attending, pre-event preparation activities, and exhibition floor preferences.

Data Analytics Usage by Exhibition Organizers: This is one of the hottest topic areas that businesses across sectors continue to grapple with. Access to treasure troves of data has never been easier and the array of analytic tools have exploded, offering many ways to jump into the analytics game. When dione well, analytics helps businesses save money and gain business advantage over competitors. So, what is the state of the exhibition industry relating to analytics, are organizers jumping into the fray or are they staying on the sidelines? Among those actively engaging analytics, for which purposes are analytics used most extensively and where are analytics delivering results? Two CEIR reports offer answers:

Use of Analytics Today by Business-to-Business Exhibition Organizers

Use of Analytics by Business-to-Business Exhibition Organizers Case Studies

Industry Insight Series Reports: Formerly called Guru Reports, these reports offer practical advice written by leading industry experts to help exhibitors maximize their exhibiting success. Four new reports published last year include:

Managing for Results: Benchmarks for Exhibit Growth by Barry Siskind

Separating Signal from the Noise – How to Make Your Emails Better by Jason Falls

The Right Place to Exhibit – A Strategic Approach by Barry Siskind

Best Practices for Exhibit Booth Design – for Companies of All Sizes by Justin Hersh

In addition to the reports published in 2015, fielding of two additional studies was completed. Analysis of results is underway with reports rolling out in 2016:

  1. Digital Toolkit to Enhance the Attendee Experience report series, will include several focus reports highlighting attendee digital technology preferences at different stages of their customer journey and compares how well organizers and exhibitors are faring in meeting these needs.
  2. Building a loyal attendee base is essential to the health and growth potential of any exhibition. This study, based on a sampling of over 6,000 attendees from 23 of the top 250 trade shows in the U.S. provides a snapshot of key demographics and preferences. Results of these attendee profiles will be compared to organizer perceptions of who they believe their repeat attendees are and efforts they engage in to build a loyal attendee base. This comparative exercise will offer organizers a practical way to compare their event practices to industry norms, as well as a framework to identify strengths and opportunities of current attendee retention efforts.

Have a question or want to learn more, feel free to email me at ndrapeau@ceir.org. Cheers and wishing you all a happy, successful and peaceful New Year!



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