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The State of the Exhibition Industry

submitted by Katie W, Explori 

, Exhibitor Group, and The Exhibitor Advocate have today released a state-of-the-nation report that provides unique and unparalleled insights on the exhibition industry from the perspective of exhibit marketers.

This comprehensive report conducted by live event research specialists Explori is the culmination of extensive quantitative research and represents findings from 255 exhibit marketers currently running event programs for organizations of all sizes covering a range of industries.

The Report’s Aim

The report’s aim is to provide deep understanding of the current challenges, strategies, and opportunities facing exhibit marketers who either have direct decision-making power or advisory influence over the decision to exhibit at trade shows.

Overall, the study found that exhibitions remain a valued sales and marketing channel amongst event teams and their senior leadership. However, the global inflation situation,along with increasing exhibit costs, are changing the way spend is distributed between events or decreasing per-event spend on in-person events for 2023. Budget cuts for exhibit-related activities are looming for those who are struggling to clearly demonstrate exhibit ROI against business and commercial objectives.

Commenting on the report, Mark Brewster, CEO of Explori, stated, “Many of our clients amongst both exhibition organisers and corporate event teams have expressed real concerns over the current inflationary conditions.

The Demand

There is little doubt that the demand for ‘in-person’ is high and trade shows have bounced back with a vengeance. However, the research identifies a friction between the spiralling costs of exhibit programs and pressures on budgets with the absence of measurement data on the real value exhibitions have on achieving business objectives.

For this reason, when we were approached by the Exhibitor Advocate, we were enthusiastic to deliver and fund this important research.”

Jessica Sibila, Executive Director of The Exhibitor Advocate adds, “This report is a game-changer for the exhibit marketing industry. It offers a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities faced by exhibit marketers and provides actionable recommendations to drive success.”

Mark Johnson, Owner of Exhibitor Group, said, We’re excited to partner with Explori and The Exhibitor Advocate to deliver this timely and relevant content that is vital for event professionals.”

Key findings from the report shed light on the dynamic nature of exhibit marketing in 2023. Among the standout statistics include:

94% of the exhibitors we surveyed expect some level of change to their exhibit programs in the next three years.
82% of those planning to exhibit at fewer in-person shows said exhibitrelated costs were a factor in their decision.
61% of exhibitors say that previous experience at a show is a key factor in their decision to exhibit.
Exhibitors’ inability to demonstrate event ROI to senior leadership is the greatest internal challenge after budget pressures.
Whilst many senior leaders view exhibits as a valuable marketing channel, 30% are now unconvinced that they are essential.

Exhibit Leaders Insights Report” is now available for download on the websites of Explori, Exhibitor Group, and The Exhibitor Advocate. 

About Explori:

Explori is an enterprise, event measurement platform and research consultancy committed to helping event organisers demonstrate impact via a unique survey platform to efficiently benchmark performance.  

About The Exhibitor Advocate:

The Exhibitor Advocate is an association dedicated to supporting and advocating for exhibit marketers. With a focus on providing resources, education, and networking opportunities, The Exhibitor Advocate strives to enhance the professional development and success of exhibit marketers across industries.

About Exhibitor Group:

The leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, Exhibitor Group publishes EXHIBITOR magazine, an award-winning publication featuring best practices in trade show marketing. EXHIBITOR’s learning events include: EXHIBITORLIVE, The Conference and Exhibition for Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketing; EXHIBITORFastTrak accelerated learning conferences; and EXHIBITOR eTrak, professional online learning. Exhibitor Group is also the founder of CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer), the industry’s only university-affiliated professional certification program, and the EXHIBITORNOW podcast, your source for the latest news and interviews with thought leaders in the trade shows and events. Learn more at

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