Despite the international trade war with the United States and other countries and concerns over the rise of digital offerings that could potentially replace face-to-face interaction between buyers and sellers, the exhibitions industry continues to grow and prove that face-to-face communication is essential to building trust and fostering long-lasting relationships in the marketplace. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) provides valuable insight for the exhibitions industry on growing show attendance, the importance of the channel and much more.

Note: International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) members and CEIR subscribers may download most of these reports at no charge!

2019 CEIR Index Report

2019 CEIR Index Report ImageThe 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: In 2018, the exhibition industry’s performance finally surpassed its last peak and is now anticipated to break new ground performance-wise through 2021.

Price: $1,000.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $750.00

Purchase the report here:

New Forecasting Service

Earlier in 2019, CEIR announced a new forecasting service geared for B2B exhibition executives. This service provides you with forecasts for the critical aspects of your B2B exhibition used to build and monitor budgets for an event. et reasonable and achievable attendance and exhibit sales goals for your organization.

Have it On the Record: “Working with CEIR to create this customized report has provided us with new insights into our show, and actionable information that is guiding our planning and pricing decisions in ways we couldn’t accomplish previously. I would recommend this service to any show organizer looking to maximize their results.” – Eric Wulf, CEO of the International Carwash Association

More information on this service can be found here:

Attendee ROI Playbook

In a partnership with the PCMA Education Foundation and IAEE, we released the Attendee ROI Playbook series to highlight the importance of the B2B exhibitions channel to the business model. The series addresses the process of how attendees evaluate the outcome of attending and the metrics most commonly used to determine whether the trip was worthwhile.

All reports in this series are free of charge to all industry professionals.

The final fact sheet was released in January of 2019.

2018 Attendee ROI Playbook Image

Part Seven: Where Value and Metrics Vary by Event Size provides an analysis of how attendee preferences and behaviors vary by an event’s size.

Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better: The smallest events recorded the highest NPS. A larger event is not necessarily predictive of a more satisfied attendee. It is critical for organizers to ensure a proper fit between attendee expectations and event offerings.

Price: $0.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Download the report here:

Head of Marketing Insights

This series provides insights from marketing leadership at organizations in North America. It quantifies the power of B2B exhibitions as an effective marketing medium and uncovers areas of opportunity to expand awareness of the channel and what to address to enhance its value and relevance to brand marketers.

CEIR’s Head of Marketing Insights series is made possible through funding from the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO).

Head of Marketing Insights Image

Download all the reports here:

Part One: Overview of Marketing and Sales Approaches, Most Urgent Objectives, and Brand Image of the B2B Exhibition Channel to Support Needs takes a close look at the image of the business-to-business (B2B) exhibition channel among heads of marketing and also assesses how perceptions are the same and different among heads of marketing at organizations that use the channel and those that do not.

Good News: The brand image of the B2B exhibition channel is strong, with a majority of heads of marketing having a positive view of the channel.

Price: $49.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Part Two: Aligning Exhibit Sales for Success looks at the decision-making process when deciding whether to exhibit at a B2B exhibition. The report also pinpoints where these heads of marketing find B2B exhibitions deliver high value in helping them achieve their organization’s urgent marketing and sales objectives.

Pitch Perfect: Pages 7-8 of this report has easy-to-use scripts that summarize CEIR study results and can help sharpen the messaging used by your exhibit sales and marketing teams.

Price: $29.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Part Three: Overcoming Non-Exhibitor Objections dives into the barriers to exhibiting from the perspective of surveyed heads of marketing at organizations that do not exhibit today. It also identifies event content and messaging that offers the most promise in prompting these heads of marketing to consider exhibiting in the future.

Sway the Decision: Most heads of marketing can be convinced to exhibit. 76% surveyed heads of marketing identify 1+ options that would convince them to exhibit.

Price: $29.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Part Four: How B2B Exhibitions are Judged, Where It is Essential to Deliver Results provides valuable data for both organizers and exhibitors looking to understand the most popular metrics exhibitors use to evaluate the performance of exhibiting and where metric users find B2B exhibitions perform best.

Did You Know?: 84% of surveyed heads of marketing use performance metrics to evaluate the outcome of exhibiting.

Price: $29.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Part Five: Future Plans for Use of the B2B Exhibition Channel reports the anticipated change in the level of spending on B2B exhibitions this year; details how the channel will help achieve urgent marketing and sales objectives in the next several years, and whether roles will continue as is, expand or decrease; and outlines which elements marketing executives plan to add to their exhibit programs.

Commitment to Improve: 77% of surveyed heads of marketing plan to add 1+ elements to their exhibit programs.

Price: $29.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Industry Insights

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 – Aaron Bludworth, Richard P. Curran and Jefferson Davis.

Demystifying Electrical Services for the Exhibitor BannerDemystifying Electrical Services for the Exhibitor
Updated edition by Richard P. Curran   

The report is intended for new exhibitors who want to minimize exhibiting expenses, as the author delineates a step-by-step process on how to determine how much electrical power is needed for a booth; how to clearly lay out where to install power; and other tips and tricks on how to minimize cost and time in what can be a confusing and overwhelming process.

Did You Know? In many facilities, power is turned on a ½ hour before show opening and turned off a ½ hour after show closing. If you require power outside those hours, you must order 24-hour power.

Price: $24.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Download the report here:

How Exhibitors Can Improve Lead Quality and Sales Conversion
by Jefferson Davis

This 6-page report is a valuable primer for exhibitors looking to implement or compare their approach to best practices at every phase of the process, from the outset of defining lead goals to ensuring effective lead follow-up that helps maximize sales conversions.

Why Are Leads Important? Many see exhibiting as a marketing “expense” rather than as an “investment”. To alter this image, successful lead management is key.

Price: $24.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Download the report here:

Unraveling the Myths About Material Handling
by Aaron Bludworth with contributions from ESCA Executive Director Larry Arnaudet and ESCA 2019 President-elect Neil McMullin

This report is a must-read for first-time exhibitors looking to understand what is material handling, which is the shipment of goods onto and off the exhibition floor and how this service is charged.

Tip: As a general rule, shipments checking into the marshalling yard prior to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday are handled without overtime charges.

Price: $24.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Download the report here:

B2B Exhibition Sponsorship Playbook

This five-part series provides a comprehensive overview of B2B exhibition sponsorship practices in North America. The B2B Exhibition Sponsorship Playbook series compiles organizer and exhibitor practices in a unique format, comparing organizer offerings and practices to those of exhibitors. It provides valuable industry benchmarks and insights on what is working to help organizers and exhibitors adjust programs to enhance their success.

B2B Exhibition Sponsorship Playbook Image

Download all the reports here:

Part One: What Organizers Offer Compared to What Exhibitors Buy focuses on the vast array of sponsorship options that are available. In addition to overall results, differences are reported by key demographics for each stakeholder group.

Good News: The sponsorship market is vibrant, with 83% of surveyed exhibitors purchasing 1+ sponsorships in the past 2 years.

Price: $49.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

Part Two: Sponsorship Sales Process – Customer Satisfaction, Package or A La Carte? Self-Serve or Staff-Assisted? offers organizers and exhibitors an inventory of how sponsorships are sold and purchased and pinpoints areas of opportunity to help boost sponsorship buyer satisfaction, and, in turn, future sponsorship sales.

Bridge the Gap: Though a majority, 53%, of sponsorship buyers are satisfied with their purchases, 40% are neutral. By comparison most organizers believe sponsorship buyers are satisfied, 73%.

Price: $49.00
IAEE Member and CEIR Subscriber Price: $0.00

The remaining three reports are set to release in 2020:

  • Part Three: Evaluating the Outcome of Sponsorship Sales and Purchases
  • Part Four: Future Outlook for Sponsorship Sales and Purchases
  • Part Five: Who Are Non-Buyers and What May Prompt Them to Buy?


This year, CEIR rolled out webinars to better equip industry professionals on how to use the research to their advantage. The webinars brought certain reports, such as the CEIR Index, Attendee ROI Playbook and Head of Marketing Insights series, to life and provided industry professionals success stories on how the research has helped others strategize a better business plan for their organization.

To view recordings of the CEIR webinars and view tip sheets, please visit:

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All of the CEIR research and tools are readily available at your fingertips. Stay tuned for what’s to come in 2020 for CEIR. Subscribe to our blog at for the most current and up-to-date research on the events and exhibitions industry.


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