Key Sources of Information Used by Attendees Seeking Out New Exhibitions

February 5, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Email | Paid Search | Search Engine Optimization | Social Media | Trade Shows & Events | Word of Mouth

CEIR-Top-Info-Sources-New-Attendees-Selecting-Exhibitions-Feb2014B2B marketers have a lofty view of trade shows and events when it comes to their ROI. Now, new research [download page] from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) indicates that new attendees to exhibitions present a particularly attractive target, being more likely than the average attendee to be executives and decision-makers. So how should exhibitors reach these prospects?

The CEIR survey asked this group of “new attendees” to rate the importance of a variety of sources of information when selecting an exhibition to attend. (New attendees refers to those respondents who reported increasing their event attendance this year.) Not surprisingly, recommendations emerged as the most important to this group, with emails from colleagues topping the list (4.95 on a 7-point scale of importance, where 7 is most important) and word-of-mouth coming in third (4.8). Sandwiched in between were invites from vendors (4.88).

Of note, internet search was rated the 4th-most important source of information, with the CEIR noting that this source was much more important to new attendees than to other respondents (those maintaining or decreasing their level of exhibition attendance). Other sources that are of more importance to new attendees include industry publications, subscribed text, social networking sites, and telemarketing from vendors and suppliers.

The study also points out that while some of those results would suggest that new attendees are younger (most likely referring to search and social networking), that isn’t the case. Instead, it appears that attendees actively seeking out new exhibitions to attend are simply relying on a wider variety of sources.

Nevertheless, these are important considerations for those looking to draw new attendees, who should also consider that for these individuals, an event’s reputation is the most important factor they consider when attending a specific exhibition for the first time.

About the Data: The study was conducted using a panel of exhibition attendees provided by ResearchNow and with a grant from CEIR. The sample consisted of 421 respondents from fourteen industries.


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