CEIR Study Shows You Can’t Beat Face to Face Interaction at Trade Shows

According to new research from The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR),  48% percent say that face-to-face interactions experienced at exhibits and exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings are more valuable today than two years ago. This comes from in their new landmark study, The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction.  Both exhibitors and attendees share a positive outlook for the next 2 years.

In the report, findings include:

Exhibitors: 37% of exhibitors say that they have seen more value from their exhibits in the past 2 years, compared to 16% who have seen less value from them.

Among the 78% of exhibitors who have made in-person sales calls, half say that the value of these calls has grown in the past 2 years, while just 4% say their value has declined.

Attendees: 48% have seen increasing value, compared to just 6% who have seen less.

Among the 59% of attendees responding to the survey who have made in-person sales calls, 36% have seen their value increase, versus 15% who have seen their value decrease.

In March, The CEIR reported that the trade show industry rebounded strongly in 2011, with revenues, attendees, and exhibitors all up year-over-year.

In addition to these findings, 43 percent anticipate this setting will be more valuable looking out to the next two years.

“This second report provides detail on the strength of the value attendees and exhibitors place on exhibitions compared to alternatives and results point to exhibitions enjoying high value ratings among both audiences,” said Nancy Drapeau, research director, CEIR. “This report also affirms that exhibition activity is vulnerable to economic downswings, though other findings in the study as well as other CEIR research point to a positive outlook moving forward. Online digital activity has minimal impact.”

The top two face-to-face activities that have increased in value among most exhibitors are sales calls and exhibitions and conventions. Previewing the next two years, these two face-to-face settings capture the largest percentage of exhibitors anticipating increased value.

Detailed insights are provided on the extent of value attendees and exhibitors place on face-to-face interactions at exhibits at exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings relative to other face-to-face settings. Findings also detail the impact of the economy and digital media on face-to-face interaction activities.

The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction study series examines the long-term value of face-to-face marketing and exhibitions in light of major fluctuations of the economy and the influx of technology and alternative marketing tactics, including digital media. A sample size of over  9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors was collected in this initiative. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation and is available online at www.ceir.org.

The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction study series examines the long-term value of face-to-face marketing and exhibitions in particular in light of major economic fluctuations and the influx of technology and alternative marketing tactics, including digital media. More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors participated in this initiative. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation and is available online at http://www.ceir.org

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About ExhibitCraft

ExhibitCraft is an award-winning trade show exhibit design, fabrication and management agency, offering customized trade show exhibit displays built in-house at its Wayne, NJ headquarters. ExhibitCraft also customizes a large selection of modular exhibit display systems, such as tabletop displays, portable trade show exhibits, pop up displays, banner stands, fabric displays, panel systems, truss systems and more.
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