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July 30, 2015

CEIR: How Do Exhibitors See the Benefits of B2B Exhibitions?

A new study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research examines how exhibitors evaluate the outcome of participating in business-to-business exhibitions.

"The business-to-business exhibition channel is a powerful sales and marketing vehicle that enables exhibitors to achieve a wide range of important business objectives," CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey said in a statement. "Given this reality, what success looks like for an exhibitor and which metrics are used to evaluate the outcome of participating will vary. One size does not fit all. This study provides benchmark data on the most typical practices of exhibitors.

"The most popular metrics used and assessment of how exhibitions perform against them indicates the solid performance of the exhibition channel," Casey continued. "Exhibitions deliver where it counts. The study suggests that exhibitions are valued for their ability to achieve multiple, important objectives in a compressed time and cost-effective setting."

Key findings from the study revealed that:
*The most popular way exhibitors evaluate exhibiting is using one or more intermediate, performance metrics, which track activities that precede a transaction, with 86 percent of exhibitors mentioning using one or more of these metrics.
*By far, the top ranked objective for most exhibitors is to generate leads, with 68 percent of exhibitors ranking it as one of their top three objectives in terms of importance. The study reveals that the most popular intermediate performance metrics relate to leads, with (60 percent or more for each lead metric).
*Business-to-business exhibitions deliver results on this top ranked objective, 60 percent of performance metric users say exhibitions perform best on lead metrics.
*ROI metrics are used by 62 percent of exhibitors, with the most popular metrics relating to sales revenue (45 percent) or sales potential (43 percent) to cost of exhibiting.
*Again, business-to-business exhibitions deliver results, with six out 10 ROI metric users saying exhibitions perform best on sales revenue metrics.

This study provides a comprehensive overview on not only how exhibitors evaluate the outcome of exhibiting, but also the type of process followed along with metrics used. CEIR evaluates where exhibitions perform best and how their performance compares to other tactics used to market showcased products and services. The study also profiles non-users of metrics. Differences in practices and other findings are examined by differences in objectives for exhibiting, product sales cycle, type of product, industry sector, annual revenues of an organization and other key exhibitor characteristics. Lastly, given the importance of lead generation, this report provides an overview of lead qualification practices and outcomes and how these activities influence the outcome of exhibiting.

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