CEIR survey: Attendees, exhibitors plan to boost face-to-face commitments over next two yearsAugust 1, 2012 - Events are often the profit centers in b-to-b media, and the event industry has recovered significantly from the Great Recession of 2008 while some other channels have not. With current economic uncertainties putting much budget planning in “wait-and-see” mode, The Center for Exhibition Industry Research revisited its 2002 study, The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction, with an updated 2012 version that asks both attendees and exhibitors about the value of face-to-face events, including usage of exhibitions, ranked value of exhibitions compared to other face-to-face marketing alternatives and the impact of online marketing on the use of exhibitions.
Among the findings:
*Approximately eight out of 10 attendees rate face-to-face interaction with current vendors (77 percent) and potential vendors (81 percent) as very or extremely important in performing their jobs.
* A majority of attendees report no change or an increase in face-to-face interactions due to the economy, while four out of 10 attendees report decreased activity in each category.
*Over the next two years, 23 percent of attendees plan to attend more exhibitions while 59 percent will attend the same number.
*Among exhibitors, 53 percent plan to maintain the same number of exhibitions over the next two years while 24 percent plan to add events to their schedule.
*When it comes to exhibitions versus other face–to-face interactions, 48 percent of attendees ranked exhibitions first with in-person sales calls coming in second at 26 percent.
The Role and Value of Face-to-face Interaction is available to ABM members for free. Click here to download the report.
By Matt Kinsman