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CEIR study affirms high net-buying influence of tradeshow attendees

Research findings point to a robust exhibition industry with high-quality attendee audiences and company participation across industry sectors. The high net-buying influence of attendee audiences is a compelling statistic for organizers to use in exhibit sales promotions as well as for exhibitors to use in justifying exhibiting to upper management, the report concludes.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently issued the sixth report from its The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction Study Series titled Profiles of Attendees and Exhibitors. The report provides a profile of attendees and exhibiting companies based on data compiled from this massive landmark study.

Key findings of note are:

• Attendance quality is high with 94 percent of attendees possessing net-buying influence for their organizations. Roles include specifying, recommending or determining need, influencing or making the final decision.
• Participation spans industry sectors. Within the past two years, attendees have visited exhibitions in an average of 3.2 industry sectors, and exhibitors have participated in events in an average of 2.2 industry sectors.
• Exhibitions are a meeting place for organizations of all sizes, with the larger proportion of exhibiting and attendee organizations consisting of small to medium-sized enterprises. Sixty-one percent of exhibiting companies employ one to 99 employees, and 18 percent employ 100 to 499. Among attendee companies, just under half, 47 percent, employ one to 99 employees, and 11 percent employ 100 to 499 employees.

“The demographics reveal exhibitions mirror the diversity of the broader economy,” said Nancy Drapeau, research director, CEIR. “These events offer exhibitors high-quality buyer audiences across a broad range of industry sectors. This is further proof that exhibitions are a powerful, face-to-face marketing medium.”

The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction study series examines the long-term value of face-to-face marketing and exhibitions in particular in light of major economic fluctuations and the influx of technology and alternative marketing tactics, including digital media. More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors participated in the initiative. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation and is available at

CEIR serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position.

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