by Matt Alderton | February 13, 2018
Companies that exhibit at trade shows say it's their favorite marketing channel, according to a new report published yesterday by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

Based on a survey of 424 trade show exhibitors, CEIR's "2018 Marketing Spend Decision Report" finds that business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions capture a larger chunk of exhibitors' marketing budgets (41 percent) than any other channel in their marketing mix. Because of the positive ROI they receive, exhibitors are increasing both the number of events at which they exhibit and the size of their booths; the former increased from a median of five events in 2016 to a median of six events in 2017, according to CEIR, while the latter is expected to increase from a median of 100 net square feet in 2017 to a median of 120 net square feet in 2018.

One thing that isn't increasing, however, is median spending, which has held steady at $20,000 per exhibition since 2015.

"This report shows the continued strength of B2B exhibitions. It is the face-to-face marketing channel of choice for brand marketers that use it," said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden. "The report offers exhibitors and exhibition organizers valuable metrics. In addition to profiling the complete marketing channel mix among brand marketers that exhibit, it also includes other important metrics that indicate movement in the market that stakeholders need to understand to effectively respond."

The "2018 Marketing Spend Decision Report" is available for purchase from CEIR's website.