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April 20, 2015

CEIR, SISO Release Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has teamed up again with the Society of Independent Show Organizers to produce its latest publication, 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study.  

CEIR has conducted research with young professional attendees since 2009. With funding from SISO, this first-ever initiative offers insights on young exhibitor attitudes and preferences about business-to-business exhibitions.

"Young exhibitors today are the brand marketers of the future who will make the decisions to exhibit," SISO Executive Director Lew Shomer said in a statement. "Understanding what they think about the channel and what they value most is essential to our industry's ability to respond to their preferences and assure a prosperous future."

"This particular study suggests the future of the industry is bright," CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey, CEM, added, "though it also points out young exhibitors have unique preferences. Organizers need to pay attention and adjust content and marketing approaches to remain relevant and positioned for growth."

Five key findings:

  1. Nearly all (98 percent) of young exhibitors find that exhibitions deliver unique value that cannot be fulfilled by other marketing or sales channels. The most popular aspects speak to the ROI, the ability to achieve multiple sales and marketing objectives in a compressed time period, with engaging face-to-face with customers and prospects top-ranked.
  2. For young exhibitors, exhibitions mean business: More than seven out of 10 young exhibitors view the exhibition channel as a medium to accomplish multiple important marketing and sales objectives.
  3. For young exhibitors, at the core of the in-booth experience is the product itself and attendee interaction with product and exhibit booth staff. Young exhibitors find tactics which feature the product (71 percent) give attendees opportunities to interact with product (67 percent) and provide settings that enable booth staff to engage with attendees (66 percent) as the most effective ways to interact with attendees. A majority also find various digital interactive elements, giveaways and prizes as effective attendee engagement techniques.
  4. It is all about face-to-face engagement and interactions: One-on-one conversations with exhibit personnel, with and without a product demonstration are the number one face-to-face settings of choice.
  5. Keep it friendly and inviting! Emphasis on the importance of exuding a 'friendly and outgoing' approach is uniquely Millennial, and at 77 percent, it is a top-ranked trait young exhibitors look for in booth staff.

Download the 2015 Young Professional Exhibitor Needs and Preferences Study here.

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