by Matt Alderton | December 18, 2012
The people who attend and exhibit at trade shows are diverse and influential, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which last week released the sixth in a series of reports culled from its landmark study, "The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction."
The report, titled "Profiles of Attendees and Exhibitors," is based on a survey of 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors. Among its key findings:

Attendance quality is high. An overwhelming majority of trade show attendees (94 percent) possess net buying influence for their organizations, according to CEIR, which said roles include specifying, recommending or determining need, influencing or making the final decision.

Participation spans industry sectors. Within the past two years, CEIR found, attendees have visited exhibitions in an average of 3.2 industry sectors. Similarly, exhibitors have participated in events in an average of 2.2 industry sectors.

Exhibitions attract organizations of all sizes. According to CEIR, 61 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 100-499 employees.

"The demographics reveal exhibitions mirror the diversity of the broader economy," said CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau. "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."

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