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Landmark Study on Young Professional EXHIBITOR Preferences
New SISO-Sponsored CEIR Report Released Today
DALLAS, 15 April 2015 – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has teamed up again with the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) to produce its latest publication, 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study.  

CEIR has conducted research with young professional attendees since 2009. With funding from SISO, this first-ever initiative offers insights on young exhibitor attitudes and preferences about business-to-business exhibitions.

SISO Executive Director Lew Shomer stated, "SISO is pleased to entrust this important exhibition industry research to CEIR with financial underwriting. Young exhibitors today are the brand marketers of the future who will make the decisions to exhibit. Understanding what they think about the channel and what they value most is essential to our industry's ability to respond to their preferences and assure a prosperous future. We are pleased that CEIR has done such a great job with our grant to provide this important attitudinal survey about our younger exhibitor personnel."

CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey, CEM, said, "We thank SISO for funding this study. Through partnerships like these, CEIR is able to deepen the value of its research, offering insights on the hottest topic areas that enable organizers and other players in the industry to keep current of trends and respond for competitive advantage. This particular study suggests the future of the industry is bright; though it also points out young exhibitors have unique preferences. Organizers need to pay attention and adjust content and marketing approaches to remain relevant and positioned for growth."

Five key findings:

  • Nearly all (98 percent) of young exhibitors find that exhibitions deliver unique value that cannot be fulfilled by other marketing or sales channels. The most popular aspects speak to the ROI, the ability to achieve multiple sales and marketing objectives in a compressed time period, with engaging face-to-face with customers and prospects top-ranked.
  • For young exhibitors, exhibitions mean business: More than seven out of 10 young exhibitors view the exhibition channel as a medium to accomplish multiple important marketing and sales objectives.
  • For young exhibitors, at the core of the in-booth experience is the product itself and attendee interaction with product and exhibit booth staff. Young exhibitors find tactics which feature the product (71 percent) give attendees opportunities to interact with product (67 percent) and provide settings that enable booth staff to engage with attendees (66 percent) as the most effective ways to interact with attendees. A majority also find various digital interactive elements, giveaways and prizes as effective attendee engagement techniques.
  • It is all about face-to-face engagement and interactions: One-on-one conversations with exhibit personnel, with and without a product demonstration are the number one face-to-face settings of choice.
  • Keep it friendly and inviting! Emphasis on the importance of exuding a 'friendly and outgoing' approach is uniquely Millennial, and at 77 percent, it is a top-ranked trait young exhibitors look for in booth staff.

Look to the full report for additional key insights.

The 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study provides a comprehensive overview of young exhibitor attitudes, preferences and habits relating to the exhibition channel. It profiles career attitudes, how they impact attitudes regarding exhibitions and metrics assessing affinity to the channel. The report takes a look at all facets of exhibiting – from importance placed on achieving marketing and sales objectives, reasons for avoiding exhibiting, as well as effective exhibiting tactics. Specific tactic preferences evaluated include booth offerings, face-to-face setting preferences, exhibit booth staff characteristics, and participation in a range of exhibition organizer offerings made available at each stage of an event. Communication preferences with organizers after signing up to exhibit are also evaluated.

In addition, the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study examines significant differences by subgroups including job role, frequency of exhibiting, role in decision to exhibit and other key demographics.

This is the second generational study sponsored by SISO. In 2014, the organization funded the Young Professional Attendee Needs and Preferences Study.

Click here to download the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study.

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.

About SISO
SISO is dedicated to meeting the needs of the for-profit show organizer through networking, the exchange of ideas and experiences, and the ability to learn from each other in a non-competitive and candid environment. Its members include companies, corporations and other for-profit entities that own, produce or provide full service management of "face to face" trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and /or similar events as a substantial part of their business. For additional information, visit www.siso.org.

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