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New CEIR research on exhibition trends released

ceirThe Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has announced the results from The 2011 Changing Environment of Exhibitions Study, which explores how the exhibition industry is evolving and provides key market insights on opportunities and threats.

The findings explore the current and planned use of the full array of available marketing, communications and sales tactics; positioning of business-to-business exhibitions in this mix; current, high-priority marketing and sales objectives and perceived value of using business-to-business exhibitions to achieve them; as well as the factors that drive the decision to exhibit or pull out of an exhibition.

The data for this study was obtained from an online survey of marketing executives across industry sectors who are involved in marketing and promotions decisions, including deciding whether to exhibit at exhibitions. Target companies included those that exhibited in at least one business-to-business exhibition in the past two years. A total of 298 executives participated from a sample of 14,636, for a response rate of 2.1 percent.

Results will be released in 10 separate fact sheets with actionable suggestions for organizers and exhibitors who can use the results to enhance their business objectives.

The first fact sheet, Exhibitions are Highly Valued in Achieving Marketing & Sales Objectives, unveils that marketing executives assign high value to using business-to-business exhibitions to achieve their most pressing marketing and sales objectives.

The top five, current high-priority marketing objectives for companies are building or expanding brand awareness (83 percent), new product or service promotions/launches (63 percent), reinforcing brand awareness (63 percent), promotions targeting specific business sectors (58 percent), and existing product service promotions (45 percent). For executives identifying these objectives as high priority, most (73 percent or more) rate exhibitions as highly valuable in helping their companies achieve these goals.

The top five, current high-priority sales objectives for companies are existing customer relationship management/engagement (73 percent), relationship management/engagement with key accounts (67 percent), relationship management/engagement with prospective customers (64 percent), generating new sales orders with existing customers (57 percent) and generating new sales leads in general (56 percent). For executives identifying these objectives collectively as high priority, most (77 percent or more) rate exhibitions as highly valuable in helping their companies achieve these goals, with the exception of generating new sales orders with existing customers, where over one-half (57 percent) assign high value to using exhibitions to achieve this objective.

The second fact sheet, Marketers Intend to Maintain or Expand Number of Exhibitions, reveals that the use of business-to-business exhibitions remains constant and is projected to grow modestly, even as companies adopt a broader array of marketing, communications and sales tactics.

Four out of 10 executives indicate they are participating in the same number of exhibitions today as they did several years ago. Looking out to the next several years, 85 percent of executives say the number of exhibitions will hold to current levels (60 percent) or will increase (25 percent).

The fact sheets are available online at www.ceir.org. CEIR’s online research library offers industry professionals an array of tools to assist in the planning and marketing of exhibitions for organizers, exhibitors and suppliers. Industry trend data is also a trusted source for press, consultants and the financial community.

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