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Chart of the week: sales and marketing drive return for live exhibitors

Sales and marketing targets are the main driving force in drawing exhibitors back to live shows in 2022, according to an industry report.

A study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reveals:

  • 40% exhibitors surveyed consider B2B exhibitions key to achieving marketing objectives 
  • 31% had a similar opinion for meeting their sales objectives   

These findings were detailed as part of the first report in CEIR’s newly-launched series about omnichannel marketing insights.

It provides exhibitor perspectives during the pandemic and the outlook among companies for the coming year.

What’s behind the figures?

Virtual events provided an outlet to connect with customers during the pandemic and to conduct training, workshops and other educational sessions.  

However, the lack of tangible options during showcases and the absence of human touch meant exhibitors needed more convincing to prove their investment’s worth.

It was clear that live exhibitions would continue to play a significant role in driving business growth.

Nancy Drapeau, vice president of research at CEIR, said: “Exhibitors are intent on returning to exhibiting. 

“The high value in using the channel to help achieve their high-priority marketing and sales objectives is the catalyst driving their return to events.”

This is supported by the fact that the channels used by exhibitors during the pandemic were helpful in addressing business needs but lacked the effectiveness of B2B shows. 

Cathy Breden, CEIR CEO, added: “Digital and other channels have helped exhibiting companies and attendees meet their needs during the pandemic, though study results point to their limitations. 

“For companies that exhibit, face-to-face marketing is an essential part of their marketing mix.”

What does it mean for event organisers?

With live events returning, organisers need to determine the different ways to support the marketing and sale objectives of exhibiting companies. 

This includes integrating digital options into the event lifecycle to keep the virtual connection going and maximise the audience experience in both physical and online formats.

To help enhance the buyer-seller experience, you can:

Use a dedicated mobile event app: exhibitors can set up meetings, send messages, scan leads and track the success of their campaigns. Learn what app features are needed to create a Smart Event experience. 

Set up a hosted buyer programme: use an AI-powered platform to connect exhibitors with the right buyers and increase sales leads and ROI. Explore more about this feature here.

Create a 365 community: an ‘always-on’ online community that allows exhibitors to connect with customers any time of the year. They can showcase and sell their products and services and drive business growth the whole year-round. Download our free 365 Community Technology Checklist to find out what you need.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you.