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CEIR Releases Report for Attendee Marketers


DALLAS — A newly released report by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) for attendee marketers, How to Grow Attendance, is the first in its latest series. Besides providing “benchmarks for all phases of a marketing campaign,” the 18-page report also focuses on future improvements marketers are working to make.

CEIR CEO Cathy Breden said this latest research “offers a road map of the most popular marketing approaches and, most importantly, which characteristics are tied to success in growing attendance.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Start attendee marketing campaigns early. Seven out of 10 surveyed organizers who grew attendance started marketing at least nine months before an event.
  • Rotating locations can help. Not every event can rotate location, though when rotation occurs, it appears to help boost attendance. In fact, 72% of events that grew attendance change locations compared to 53% of events that stay in the same place.
  • Top challenges for growing B2B exhibition attendance in 2018. When asked about their No. 1 challenge for growing B2B exhibition attendance, reaching the target audience topped the list with 29%, followed by resonating/converting to attendees at 27%.
  • Challenges differ for independents and associations. More independent organizers, 50%, identify reaching their target audiences as the No. 1 challenge compared to 13% of association organizers. Conversely, association organizerswho have the advantage of membership, identify converting their audience to attendees as the No. 1 challenge, 35% compared to 16% of independent organizers.

In addition to revealing an increase in the use of analytics for new attendee acquisition, the report also details the biggest attendance growth challenges, marketing campaign planning processes and the various metrics employed in a marketing campaign, among many other categories.

Three more reports are forthcoming in this four-part series. The report is free to CEIR members and $99 for non-members.

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 687-9201 or

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