Each year, the trade show industry seeks to find trends and more information about attendees. Several groups, such as The Center for Exhibition Industry Research, Exhibit Surveys Inc. and more, research & compile this information. The most recent stats have been published in Trade Show Executive Magazine.
Here are the most important to consider:
1.) 86% of attendees use face-to-face at exhibitions to become aware of new products, evaluate vendors for future purchase and/or narrow their choices to preferred vendors.(Source: CEIR) If trade shows attendees do not want to be at an exhibition, they would not attend. Therefore, most are there in search of a solution to a problem or an opportunity to gain. You have a captive audience and a limited amount of time to take advantage of this opportunity. Bring your “A” game.
2.) Executives cited conference & trade show participation returns ranging from $4.00 to $5.99 per dollar invested.(Source: Oxford Economics Business Travel Study; Oxford Economics, 2009) A return-on-investment of 4 or 5 to 1 is great in my book!
3.) To identify a potential custom at an exhibition, the average cost is $96.00; to identify a prospect by any other means, the average cost is $443.00. (Source: CEIR, 2009) There is an economic value to trade show exhibiting in addition to all of the marketing & brand benefits. The opportunity to quality or disqualify a potential customer by over 4x less is music to any accountant’s ears!
4.) 45% of attendees develop an emotional connection with a brand after interacting with it at a trade show. (Source: Exhibit Surveys, Inc., 2007) It can take years for consumers to develop emotional connections with brands. How often do you hear a colleague talk about an emotion connection with another business in the B2B world? Why not take advantage of a face-to-face opportunity at a trade show to elevate this process?
5.) It takes an average of 3.5 sales calls to close a sale with a lead from an exhibition, compared to 4.5 sales calls without a lead from an exhibition. (Source: CEIR, 2009) A goal for any business is to find new business quicker and close the opportunity sooner. The result of trade show exhibiting is an opportunity to close business quicker and cheaper.
Many sales & marketing professionals underestimate the value of trade show exhibiting. I hope these stats will help you or your colleagues understand the potential benefits.