Center >> May 2007
Shows Come of Age
report reveals face-to-face meetings have overtaken their print
counterparts bringing in 36 percent of business revenue.
from AICPA Custom Media Solutions
Often overshadowed by direct mail and print in the
budgeting process and by digital in terms of media buzz, trade shows
are finally getting a deserved spot in the limelight. A recent American
Business Media report found that trade shows accounted for 36 percent
of industry revenue, inching past their trade magazine counterparts
that came in at 35 percent. “As business media companies continue
to move into a multiplatform environment, the industry is experiencing
growth in three out of four of its major segments: trade shows,
custom media and e-Media,” says Gordon Hughes, CEO and President
of American Business Media.
In fact, trade shows are now being touted as the
third fastest growing group behind digital and custom media.
What’s Behind This New Surge?
A joint study
conducted by ABM and Forrester Research surveyed nearly 900 key
marketing decision-makers and found that three in five (60.9%) respondents
consider “in-person events” to be the number one marketing
tactic used to build brand image, while nearly 63 percent use it
to generate leads. Besides raising awareness, another strength executives
associate with tradeshows is the ability to interact directly with
Shows report exhibitor renewal rates average 75
percent, while 25 percent of exhibitors are new, according to the
137 show organizers who responded to an online survey conducted
by Expo Magazine and Exhibit Surveys Inc. A good 32 percent
of show organizers report renewal rates increased from 2005 to 2006.
Each year Exhibit Surveys, Inc. releases the latest
statistical norms for trade show audience quality, audience activity
and exhibit performance indicators. With the focus of corporate
management on measuring ROI, companies often think of measurement
as only assessing bottom-line results from exhibiting (i.e., message
communication, brand enhancement, awareness building, lead generation,
sales from leads, PR achieved, etc.). Exhibit attraction is the
percentage of an exhibitor's potential audience who remembered
visiting the company's exhibit. The function of the physical exhibit
is to selectively attract its potential audience from among the
total audience at the show. Factors which most often determine success
in this regard include: awareness for the company and its products
among the audience, pre and at-show promotion, exhibit design and
graphics, demos and attention-getting techniques, interest in products
or services exhibited, and exhibit size. Over the past several years,
exhibitors have been more successful in selectively attracting their
audience (from 67% to 77%).
Expoweb, shows, as well as individual exhibitors, continue
to attract qualified attendees. In 2006, 79 percent of attendees
who visited an exhibit had no contact with that company within the
previous 12 months (see chart).
to individual booths, 82 percent are interested in the product or
service displayed and 78 percent have buying influence for the exhibitor's
product or service.
and events accelerate the sales process faster than any other media
or form of direct marketing. That’s a bold claim, but it’s
measurable and therefore provable,” says Skip Cox, CEO/President
of Exhibit Surveys. “So wouldn’t it make sense for the
exhibitions and events industry to position and market events to
take advantage of this unique strength?”
All you B2B
trade show exhibitors, it’s time to wake up and smell the