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May 6, 2009

US exhibitors looking for bigger return during downturn

Some 78% of exhibition industry professionals expect to see trade show budgets decrease in 2009, according to the latest US research by MC2.

Conversely, the biggest concerns in delivering an event or show, with existing budgets, were identified by the 192 people surveyed as effectiveness (28.6%), and leads and follow-up (22.8%).

“The economic environment's impact on trade show programmes exists. Yet, our experience at EXHIBITOR2009 showed that budget is just part of the picture. Our team met with individuals who had clearly defined needs beyond the scope of budget," said Rob Murphy, chief marketing officer at MC2.  “This economy provides an opportunity for industry professionals to hone in on strategic planning processes – to produce measurable results and improve leads captured and follow-up strategies."

The survey further reveals most respondents value strategic planning and would concentrate spending on their overall strategy if their budgets increased. However, they indicate time (21%), money (22%) and pulling together all of the stakeholders (22.5%) as the biggest challenge to building a comprehensive strategy.

"The management of trade shows and the return on investment are always important and become even more so during an economic downturn. To be successful, you have to know where you are and understand where you want to go,” said Murphy. "Working with a strategic partner who can help you identify your end-result goals, develop a clear and effective plan and design that translates your brand into a meaningful experience to capture new and existing customers will be essential."

Detailed survey results are also available at www.mc-2.com/survey.

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