Tradeshow Marketing Begets Tradeshow Attendance, Study Shows

Overall attendance increased at 62 percent of annual tradeshow events in 2007, according to the results of the fifth annual AttendTrends study, conducted by international marketing research company Jacobs, Jenner & Kent and marketing agency Frost Miller Group. Also up were organizations' marketing budgets, which the study suggests is more causal than coincidental.

The 2007 AttendTrends study, conducted in November 2007 via phone interviews with 450 North American event organizers, reveals that among organizations that increased their event marketing budgets, 64 percent reported growth in tradeshow attendees. Meanwhile, among those who cut their event marketing budgets, 58 percent reported a decline in attendees. Finally, among organizations who kept their event marketing budgets the same, 62 percent reported that event attendance also remained the same.

"While the natural tendency for some show organizers may be to cut back on spending when the economy is soft, this research shows that it is likely to lead to revenue loss," Kevin Miller, president of Frost Miller Group, said in a statement. "A better approach would be to become more strategic in developing databases and more creative in executing marketing materials."

Among event marketers who were polled for the AttendTrends study, 35 percent said their top challenge is knowing how to communicate in today's environment; 32 percent said it is communicating events' value to new audiences. To that end, 80 percent of AttendTrends respondents reported increasing their use of e-mail marketing, blasting e-mail messages to potential attendees five or more times per tradeshow.

"Event organizers are experimenting with technologies such as e-mail and Web 2.0 tools not only to attract potential attendees to their events, but to interact with them between events," Miller continued. "Blogs, social networking pages and online videos increase audience participation."

For more information about the AttendTrends study, and to view the full report, visit www.frostmiller.com.