Face-to-Face Report : May 2011
2010 BIN Report for B-to-B Media
Four key platforms included
Total revenue for total b-to-b media was essentially flat 2009 to 2010 because a decline in tradeshows and print revenue was offset by growth in digital and data, according to ABM's Business Information Network (BIN) report for full-year 2010. To reflect today's b-to-b multimedia environment, BIN aggregates the industry’s four key revenue platforms: print, tradeshows, digital and data.
With an increase of 2.6%, digital experienced the most growth in share of b-to-b dollars. While tradeshows reflected (among all four platforms) the greatest percentage in share of b-to-b dollars in 2010, it had the greatest decline in b-to-b dollars between 2009 and 2010.
For more information and to access the full report, click here.
What Conference Audiences Expect
Six expectations that develop rapport
Today’s conference audiences are more demanding and sophisticated. Not only do they expect to learn practical and useful information but they also expect compelling and memorable speaker presentations. In order to develop good rapport with your audience, Jeff Hurt, director of education and engagement of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, shares these six conference audience expectations.
- Cutting-edge information
Audiences don’t want information that is outdated and regurgitated on the Internet. They want the most current, cutting-edge information available, which means that speaker calls for proposals and presentation deadlines need to change to allow speakers to craft current, up to date, real time information, according to Hurt.
- Customized information that solves their problems
Audience members arrive at the conference with specific problems that they expect to solve. They are searching for answers to these problems. They expect your conference to deliver solutions customized to them.
- Time for discussion
Participants need time to make meaning from the information. They need to own the concepts being presented. They need time to reflect on what is being said and how it applies to their situation.
Their brains are looking for meaning. The brain seeks associations, connections and patterns between the information presented and their own experience. Patterns that are identified add to the participant’s learning.
For learning to occur, they need to discuss the information, share ideas, make meaning of the content and dialogue with others as they deepen their understanding of the topic.
- Time to create an implementation plan
Conference audiences need time in each education session to decide how they will apply what they just learned. This is a critical and often ignored part of most conferences. Every participant should walk out with a game plan on next steps for their success.
- To be entertained
Audiences still expect to be entertained, regardless of the content. Some have dubbed this expectation “infotainment” or “edutainment.” Ultimately, the conference content needs to match the participant’s world, aligning with how they see, hear and feel things on a daily basis. And it needs to do so in an entertaining way.
- To have fun
Who said learning, education and information had to be boring anyway? It should be entertaining and fun. If not, it’s just a waste of time.
How High Fuel Costs Affect Meetings
Rising fuel prices are a major concern of meeting planners, reveals a recent poll by M&C Research. Of the 117 respondents, 87% are extremely or somewhat concerned about the impact on meetings and events.
Among actions they expect to take to ease higher costs resulting from fuel hikes, 34% will choose less expensive venues, 32% will plan more local meetings and 29% will hold more virtual meetings. Another budget blaster: baggage and other inflight extras.
The poll also revealed:
- 43% consider air capacity a key factor in selecting a meeting destination. Another 34% say it is somewhat influential
- 29% do not reimburse air travelers for checked baggage
- 6% cover the cost of inflight alcohol; another 6% pay for extra legroom in coach class
- 2% of planners are not at all concerned about fuel costs
Marketers Plan to Boost Spending on Virtual Events
Sixty percent of U.S. marketers plan to increase spending on virtual events and environments this year, according to research released by Unisfair, an Intercall company and a provider of virtual events, and that was published in BtoB magazine. At the same time, 42% of marketers said they planned to reduce spending on physical conference and trade shows in the next 12 months.
Respondents to the survey said they had attended virtual events themselves from unusual places, including bed (27%), beaches or swimming pools (11%) and airplanes (4%). The Unisfair survey was conducted online in April with more than 550 marketers responding.
Exhibition Planners Struggle with Social Media Marketing
Strategic use of social media and market research are the major marketing concerns facing association meeting planners and exhibition organizers in gaining attendees, according to a survey conducted for the Attendee Acquisition Roundtable that was published in Association Meetings. Ironically, they are two functions that most trade show organizers do not outsource.
“Event producers haven’t found the key to social media marketing,” said Sam Lippman, president, Integrated Show Management and Marketing, Arlington, Va., who produced the AAR, held March 24 in Washington, D.C.
About 60% of respondents said it was among their top-three attendee acquisition challenges, with 12% saying it was their No. 1 concern. “Many best practices have been established, but they change daily – along with the underlying technologies,” added Lippman. The study was conducted for AAR by Jacobs, Jenner & Kent, Baltimore.
About 55% of respondents listed market research among their top three challenges with 27% calling it their top challenge.
The two biggest challenges, social media and market research, were mostly handled in-house. Just 10% outsourced social media marketing, while 26% hired third parties for marketing research. Conversely, 90% outsourced housing, 84% outsourced registration, 45% hired outside telemarketers and 42% hired copywriting/graphic design services.
Overall, 55% spent less than 10% of their budget on attendee acquisition, while 18% spent 10% to 20%, and 27% spent more than 20% trying to boost attendance.
The survey polled 100 association and for-profit show executives who run exhibitions with more than 125,000 square feet of booth space.
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