Why Everyone Should Celebrate a Thriving Exhibitions Industry

June 9, 2015

There is an important behavioral shift underway, one that has huge implications for businesses, organizations and local communities. That change? The growing preference of experience.

While digital marketing continues to grow, in parallel, there is an increased desire for experiences, seen across the board but particularly with Millennials and GenZ. Researchers at Ad Age identified this trend in a recent report, noting that overall promotion, events and experiential agency revenue is growing at a greater rate than advertising, PR, and media.

Certainly, event marketers should rejoice, but this news has implications far beyond the exhibition industry. When the event industry grows, so does business. All business. The exhibitions and events industry is a critical economic driver locally and globally, generating revenue for local companies and creating jobs, while driving business connections and sales. Beyond the event itself, attendees drive revenue into host cities by frequenting mom and pop businesses, dining at local restaurants, and using travel and hospitality providers in the vicinity. Here’s a breakdown of the economic power of the exhibitions industry:

For Businesses

Exhibitions and events enable buyers, sellers and other stakeholders to connect face-to-face with more effectiveness than any other communications channel. This face-to-face engagement is what helps create strong business and personal relationships, and 95 percent of professionals say face-to-face events are key to fostering successful business connections and 87 percent of attendees say live meetings are essential for closing deals*. In addition, exhibiting at trade shows proves valuable for companies looking to reach new customers, with marketers stating they find more and better qualified leads at trade shows versus other marketing channels.**

For Organizations

Face-to-face events are literally connected to and used by every business sector, interest group and association. From tile manufacturers to medical equipment specialists, pet product companies to food and beverage providers – this industry covers it all. Exhibitions are a primary way to keep key communities connected in order to share innovations, education, and make professional contacts.

For Local Communities

According to CEIR, the U.S. exhibitions industry contributes more than $79.3 billion directly to the GDP in attendee and exhibitor spending. Events and exhibitions also support 1.8 million jobs across the country and generate $88 billion in federal, state and local taxes each year which funds and supports our communities, according to CIC.

To keep our economy going, and business moving forward, I hope you’ll join Freeman in supporting the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign and the signature Exhibition Day event, taking place in Washington, D.C., on June 8 and 9. 

We’ll share with lawmakers the significant impact the exhibitions and events industry has on the economy, as well as discuss how regulatory decisions impact the industry’s ability to make these positive economic contributions. Follow us at @freemanco and @freemanxp, and #ExhibitionsDay.

*Why Real Face Time Will Always Matter – Inc, September 22, 2014

** The Most Effective B2B Lead Generation Tactics – MarketingProfs, November 2014

This article was first published on Freeman’s blog HERE.  

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