An extensive global study on the recovery of the tradeshow industry, conducted by live events research specialists Explori in partnership with UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, has shown that the absence of business events is having a significant negative impact on companies who rely on them.
The interim findings of the research, which is also supported by SISO, the Society for Independent Show Organisers, were comprised from over 9,000 responses from 30 countries.
Two-thirds of those who exhibit at business events reported their cancellation has had a notable detrimental impact on their business, reducing their ability to build brand awareness with their target markets. Half of businesses expressed this impact as being “very large”.
Half (50%) of companies told researchers that the absence of live events was negatively affecting their ability to generate new business.
Of those who come to business events as delegates, 90% felt they had been negatively impacted as a result of not being able to attend events. Nine out of ten felt that alternative solutions such as virtual events were not as effective in meeting their professional needs as live events.
“With tradeshows running safely in more markets around the world, we are starting to feel more positive as an industry. These results support that optimism, showing that the businesses who participate in our shows are missing the value that face-to-face brings and tradeshows play a key role in driving economic recovery,” said Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO (pictured left).
Sophie Holt (pictured right)), global strategy director, Explori added: “When we embarked on this project, most markets were in lockdown and the outlook for the industry was uncertain. Some commentators felt that a shift away from live to virtual events would be a long-term outcome of the pandemic. However, these results suggest that whilst virtual events have an important role to play, especially in bringing events to new audiences, our customers are eager for the return of in-person events.
We will be conducting a further phase of research in the near future to further understand the sentiments of visitors and exhibitors round the world as more markets open.”
Further results from the study will be released in the coming weeks, including via the UFI Connects webinar series.