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

Kathy Monte, Senior Editor

DALLAS – The fourth of six reports in the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Omnichannel Marketing Insight Series focuses on the critical topic of trade show attendee acquisition.

Growing your show, attracting quality buyers and creating the go-to marketplace for your industry vertical have never been more important to event management.

The latest event marketing report looks forward and provides insights to help shape an attendee acquisition approach that aligns with professional goals. It also addresses what the decision process to attend an event looks like today and who exactly is coming back.

“Attendee acquisition consistently ranks as the number one challenge for marketers and event organizers,” Nancy Drapeau, IPC, CEIR Vice President of Research, said. “We live in a hyper-personalized marketing world, and who to market to and what messaging to use are even more important now. Marketers need to make sure their content marketing game is in line with this. Prospects will respond to content that speaks to them. This report offers useful insights to do both.”

Today, an omnichannel marketing approach is more vital than ever as the trade show industry continues to recover from the COVID pandemic shutdown. Although live trade shows have returned with a vengeance, many still have an online and hybrid approach. Whether a trade show is live, in-person or online, the objective is consistent — to be in front of your audience, delivering a message, and conducting business. Omnichannel marketing helps get this done. Report Four is vital for event management teams as without an audience, what do you have?

According to the study, 89% of those attending trade shows today have a purchasing role in their organization. Job titles include high-level management and staff that recommend products and services for purchase. As has been identified as a trend since the trade show industry reopened, women are not traveling to events as much as men. The event marketing report reveals that women are lagging, with events consisting of on average 66 percent men and 26 percent women.

The CEIR report also stresses the importance of using a personalized approach when marketing to prospective attendees. Identify content offered by the event that is likely to resonate with each target demographic, the report states.

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

The complete Omnichannel Marketing Insights series is based on a survey of 1,799 attendees and 316 exhibitors. Report Four is $59 for those who are not CEIR members.

Reach Nancy Drapeau at

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