Research and White Papers

Study: Marketing Executives Value Exhibitions

By Matt Alderton
November 11, 2011

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When it comes to their most pressing sales and marketing objectives, marketing executives assign high value to trade shows, according to the Center for Exhibition Research (CEIR), which yesterday released the first in a series of fact sheets based on new exhibition-industry research.

The research, from CEIR's "2011 Changing Environment of Exhibitions" study, explores how the exhibition industry is evolving and provides key market insights on opportunities and threats. Study results will be released in the form of 10 fact sheets containing data alongside actionable suggestions for organizers and exhibitors.

The first fact sheet, "Exhibitions Are Highly Valued in Achieving Marketing & Sales Objectives," reveals two key findings:

• The top five, current high-priority marketing objectives for companies are building or expanding brand awareness (83 percent), new product or service promotions or 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 half (57 percent) assign high value to using exhibitions to achieve this objective.

CEIR's 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. It reveals, for instance, that:

• Four out of 10 executives 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).

Free to CEIR members, the fact sheets are available for purchase by industry stakeholders at www.ceir.org.
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