by Matt Alderton | August 30, 2017

When they go to trade shows, meeting attendees don't just interface with exhibitors. They also interface with exhibitors' products -- both in and outside their booths. To help exhibitors leverage those interactions successfully, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has published a new report about people-to-product engagement at trade shows, it announced yesterday.

Titled "Exhibition Floor Product Engagement Activities Outside Exhibit Booths," the report is the sixth in CEIR's "2017 Attendee Floor Engagement Study" series of research reports, which seeks to help trade show exhibitors enhance their relationships with attendees. Totaling 14 pages, it's designed to pinpoint which product engagement activities are most popular and most effective outside of exhibitors' booths.

According to CEIR, most exhibition organizers (87 percent) offer at least one product engagement opportunity in common areas on a show floor. However, fewer than half of exhibitors (48 percent) actually take advantage of these opportunities -- the most advantageous of which are new product demo areas where attendees can try products for themselves. Such areas, CEIR reported, are offered by 35 percent of exhibition organizers and used by only 10 percent of exhibitors; yet, 64 percent of those who offer them say they enjoy high attendee use.

"There is no better way to bring products to life than by giving attendees the chance to interact with the products themselves," said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden. "Exhibitors that do not take advantage of these opportunities are missing out on an additional way to deliver impactful brand experiences to their target audiences beyond their booths."

To date, the "2017 Attendee Floor Engagement Study" consists of five reports: "Part One: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics - People, Product, Education, Emotion and Other Tactics," "Part Two: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics - Use of Exhibition Organizer Digital Tactics and Other Services," "Part Three: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics - Methods Used to Evaluate Outcomes," "Part Four: Exhibitor In-booth Tactics - Looking to the Future - Areas to Improve and Interest in New Models," and "Part Five: Exhibition Floor Networking Opportunities outside Exhibit Booths." Two more reports will be released later this year: "Part Seven: Exhibition Floor Learning Activities outside Exhibit Booths" and "Part Eight: Exhibition Organizers - Methods Used to Evaluate Outcome, Areas to Improve, Interest in New Models."


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