Trade Show Reports: Face-To-Face Interaction Is Highly Valued

By admin at August 8, 2012 | No Comments » |

A new CEIR study reveals the true role and value of interacting face-to-face.

It is no secret that lately there has been a tremendous amount of growth in terms of bringing social marketing and digital media to the trade show floor. If you have been to any type of business conference or industry event within the last few years, there is a good chance that you have seen what we are talking about―Businesses connecting with colleagues before the event through Facebook or LinkedIn, sales people gathering and managing their leads through iPhone apps, and even people live-streaming the conference itself onto YouTube for others to view.

As each of these actions become more and more familiar on the trade show floor, it becomes increasingly evident just how significant the explosion of technology and digital media has been on this industry. However, while digital marketing can help to expand your trade show experience and open new doors for connecting with attendees, many people are beginning to question whether or not these digital actions have decreased the value of face-to-face marketing all together.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) had this very same question in mind when they began putting together a study to decipher once and for all the true role and value of face-to-face interaction at trade shows and events. This research study measured both attendee and exhibitor perceptions of face-to-face interactions from several perspectives, while also taking into account recent economic trials and the emergence of new media.

Given the fact that a modest increase in exhibition attendance is expected within the next two years, with 23% of people surveyed expected to attend more trade shows and 59% expected to attend the same number, understanding the true value of face-to-face interaction may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful trade show event for many companies.

Here are just a few of the statistics from the CEIR study that document the staying power of face-to-face marketing, despite the surge in digital media and technology:

  • Approximately 8 out of 10 attendees rate face-to-face interaction with current vendors (77%) and potential vendors (81%) as very or extremely important in performing their jobs.
  • 74% percent of attendees rate face-to-face interaction with colleagues and associates very or extremely important.
  • Face-to-face interactions with business partners achieve high importance ratings as well, with 75% of attendees and 71% of exhibitors assigning a very or extremely important rating.

Given these overwhelming statistics, it is obvious that both attendees and exhibitors greatly value interacting face-to-face with others at trade show events, which makes this medium a “must have” in terms of marketing tactics for both buyers and sellers.

However, while face-to-face interactions at events may be of high value to your overall trade show experience, exhibitors cannot rely on this form of interaction alone. In order to have a truly successful exhibit, you must focus on the best way to reach your desired clientele, which could be a mix of strategic marketing campaigns, face-to-face interaction, digital marketing and social media and traditional marketing avenues. Make sure to do not limit your company’s success at your next trade show by focusing all of your efforts on just one medium.


Survey information collected by The Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s (CEIR) study, The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction .



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