CEIR Report Identifies 'Key Attendees'

Every planner knows that it's attendees that make a meeting. What planners may not know, however, is that some attendees are more valuable than others. Because they spend more money, commit more time and express more enthusiasm than the typical trade show participant, so-called "key attendees" are critical within the exhibition industry, according to the Dallas-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which has released a new white paper designed to help trade show organizers identify, attract and retain loyal attendees.

Titled The Acquisition and Retention of Key Attendees, the CEIR report is the third in a series and follows a white paper released last year about key exhibitors. While it acknowledges that key attendees are difficult to identify and expensive to retain, the report offers exhibition organizers tips for overcoming those challenges with affordable and effective strategies. Specifically, it presents nine best practices to help planners:

• Enhance key attendee productivity year round
• Establish a key attendee loyalty program
• Establish visibility in key attendee arenas

"The buying process for goods and services is evolving," said Dave Lutz, managing director for Ohio-based Velvet Chainsaw Consulting, who summarized the white paper for senior executives during a roundtable discussion last month. "In order to compete and win, show organizers that commit people and dollars to attracting and keeping power attendees in their show will win the day."

The Acquisition and Retention of Key Attendees is available for purchase online at CEIR's Web site.