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New study into the exhibition industry out now

by Murielle Gonzalez

Explori has teamed up with UFI for an in-depth research into the exhibition industry. Titled ‘Global Exhibitor Insights’ the study builds on the UFI/Explori Global Visitor Insights report released in 2016.

The new report, Global Exhibitor Insights, provides an overview of the experience and intentions of exhibitors at trade shows across the world. The research aims to give event organisers a deeper understanding of the patterns and trends that drive positive and negative exhibitor experiences and the objectives and behaviours that underlie them.

The comprehensive analysis has been complied using survey data collected from visitors and exhibitors via Explori’s dedicated research platform. In total, 1,040 trade shows from over 40 countries have conducted post-show research through Explori.

The findings also derive from in-depth interviews conducted with 57 trade show directors from 17 different countries.

The report delivers key findings related to exhibitors’ behaviour, their levels of loyalty to and advocacy of the industry, their needs and, the extent to which these needs are being met by the industry:

Mark Brewster, Explori CEO, commented: “This project has been eye-opening. I would encourage all organisers to read the report and to consider how they would act on it. This research highlights the behaviours that make the biggest difference in creating advocacy amongst exhibitors and shows just how important advocacy is as a growth factor.”

Key findings

Exhibitor advocacy, performance, and a strategy to boost both visitor and exhibitor satisfaction are some of key findings of the report.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director, commented: “After last year’s report focusing on visitors’ satisfaction, this new report provides insights into the thinking of the exhibiting companies. This time again, results show a considerable area for improvement in most cases. The report also identifies a significant proportion of shows with positive NPS scores and highlights successful strategies. We hope that this research helps our industry to develop its credentials in order to strengthen its unique position in the marketing mix of a wide variety of companies.”

The report revealed that low advocacy is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry globally. Trade show exhibitors have a global Net Promoter Score (NPS) of -17, and that 25 per cent of shows have an NPS of less than -36. This is the same percentage that has a positive NPS score.

Larger shows have more advocates, but there is no correlation between visitor numbers and exhibitor satisfaction, leading to larger events having more participants who exhibit high loyalty but low satisfaction.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) becomes a valuable asset. The research has found that shows with high exhibitor NPS are more likely to experience growth.

Low exhibitor satisfaction, even at shows with very high visitor numbers, is an issue that can be address with training. Indeed, the report revealed that training can counter poor performance. Findings confirmed that shows that offered exhibitor training to all or most, saw a 23 point boost in NPS vs. shows that did not.

The “newness” continues to be a driving factor for visitor satisfaction. The report concluded shows with a well-defined “newness” strategy are more successful at satisfying both visitors and exhibitors.

A summary of Global Exhibitor Insights is available to download from the Explori website.

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