16 Powerful Stats on the Value of Trade Shows

August 17, 2013

TSNN decided to start off 2014 with one of the most popular blog posts from last year. Enjoy! We love Mike's work!

Looking for statistical justification that trade shows are a great marketing medium?  Or numerical inspiration to guide your trade show program?  You’ve come to the right place.

At EXHIBITOR 2013 this year, Skyline hosted a game show called “Staggering Trade Show Stats” in our trade show booth. These stats were shared with show attendees to help them justify and maximize their trade show marketing. You can use these 16 stats to help guide your program, too:

  • B2B exhibitions were 39.2% of B2B marketing budgetsin 2011, the largest amount of any other marketing channel.  That number has held fairly steady over the past several years, demonstrating the resilience of trade shows.   Source:  CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget
  • 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.  Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors.  Source:  CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget
  • 78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 milesto attend an exhibition, which means you are getting a national audience at many trade shows.  Source:  CEIR report ACRR 1153.12
  • 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade shows they did not get from other marketing mediums.   Their 3 most valued aspects of trade shows were:  60% of exhibitors said they value the ability to see lots of prospects and customers at the same time; 51% of exhibitors said they value face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers, and 47% said they value the ability to meet with a variety of players face to face, such as customers, suppliers, resellers, etc.   Source:  CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions
  • The top 3 goals for exhibitors at trade shows are brand awareness, lead generation, and relationship building.  Source:  Skyline Exhibits market research
  • The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a showor exhibition.  That gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your target audience.  Source: Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
  • About 50% of the largest 200 shows in the USA take place in just 3 cities: Las Vegas, Chicago, and OrlandoSource: TSNN.com, The Trade Show News Network
  • Average drayage rates have increased 488% from 1982 to 2010.  Average drayage rates have gone from $12.68 per hundredweight in 1982 to $74.54 in 2010 – a 488% increase.  Meanwhile, the % of Exhibit Design on the average budget has gone from 21% of the overall budget in 1982 to only 10% in 2010.  The savings on drayage, (and shipping, storage, I&D, and refurbishing) from modular exhibit systems (that weight 60% less than traditional custom exhibits) and portable displays have helped keep trade shows affordable for many exhibitors.   Source:  CEIR / E2MA
  • 83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for trade shows.  The next two objectives tied at 63%: “New product promotions, launches” and “Brand awareness reinforcement.”  Source:  CEIR Changing Environment Study
  • The top 3 sales-related objectives at trade shows are related to relationship management and engagement.  Above all else, exhibitors want to meet with existing customers, key customers, and prospective customers.  Source:  CEIR Changing Environment Study
  • 67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting companies.  This means trade shows are always rich in new business targets for you.  Source:  Exhibit Surveys, Inc.
  • 45% of attendees visit only one exhibition per year.  So when you exhibit at a show you will find unique prospects there you can’t reach at other trade shows.   Source:  CEIR Report ACRR 1152.12
  • The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products.  92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products.  It has been the number one reason to attend for 25 years!  So trade shows are a great place to introduce or feature your newest products.   Source:  CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face
  • 46% of trade show attendees are in Executive or Upper Management.  That’s a lot of valuable attendees with top titles walking trade shows.  They certainly have authority to make buying decisions!   Source:  CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face
  • Shanghai, China is going to open a 5 million square foot show hall in 2015.  This means for exhibitors there will be even more potential large shows to exhibit at in China.  Source: News media
  • 84% of exhibitors say “High quality of attendees” is the most important factor when deciding whether to exhibit or expand booth size.   Also, 54% say “favorable return-on-investment,” is an important factor when deciding to exhibit or expand booth size, while 50% consider “Positive past performance” and important factor.  Source:  CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions
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