This Just In

CEIR Releases Fifth in Series of Omnichannel Reports


DALLAS – The fifth of six reports in the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Omnichannel Marketing Insight Series, “Who to Target for Exhibit Sales,” shows a continuing rebound in the exhibition industry, with more than a third of respondents (36%) reporting larger budgets this year and 43% of budgets remaining the same.

While the majority (55%) of those with budgets below $250,000 expect their 2022 exhibition budgets to stay the same as in 2021, the growth is coming from the companies with the most resources: 51% of organizations with marketing budgets of $250,000 to $749,000 and 48% of companies with budgets of $750,000+ reported bigger budgets.

Related. CEIR’s Latest Marketing Study Focuses on Trade Show Attendee Acquisition

The report included other positive stats on the continuing rebound of the exhibition industry. Respondents expect to participate in five events in 2022, edging closer to the pre-pandemic median of six events, and the median booth size in net square feet (nsf) will return to the same size as in 2019 (200 nsf).

Exhibit Sales Strategies

The report recommended that organizations cast a wide net with their exhibit sales strategies. For smaller organizations, directing promotions to executive management and marketing is likely to be enough. For efforts targeted to larger organizations, promotions across multiple departments are needed.

The largest organizations, those with 500+ employees, involve more departments in the decision to exhibit, including marketing (60%); the lead of a business unit, product, brand or division (36%); and an events department lead (23%). Among large organizations, just 23% report involving executive management in these decisions, versus 68% of small companies (defined as having 99 or fewer employees).

Related. 94% of Exhibitors Plan to Return to Live Events, Says CEIR Omnichannel Study

The larger an organization’s marketing budget, the higher the likelihood that marketing is involved: 68% of organizations with marketing budgets of $250,000 to $749,900 and 62% of those with marketing budgets of $750,000+ involve marketing, compared to only 39% of those with budgets of less than $250,000.

“The most notable takeaway is the importance of adjusting who is targeted for exhibit sales efforts based on the size of a prospective exhibiting company – target marketing and executive management for smaller companies, and go broader for larger companies,” Nancy Drapeau, IPC, CEIR Vice President of Research, said. “This report gives you insights on other job titles and departments to reach out to for those larger companies. Since the outlook for marketing budgets is brighter for larger companies and those with larger marketing budgets, adjust exhibit sales conversations accordingly. These prospective exhibitors may be open to making a larger investment in your event, if it offers the target audiences they want to engage with and the setting that enables them to achieve their objectives.”

Related. Latest CEIR Index Points to “Continuing but Choppy” Recovery

The complete Omnichannel Marketing Insights series is based on a survey of 1,799 attendees and 316 exhibitors. This report is complimentary to CEIR Subscribers and IAEE members and available for purchase for $59 USD for non-members/non-subscribers here.

Reach Nancy Drapeau at

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