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New Survey Reveals Retentions Rates, Profit Margins and Pricing Trends


Washington, DC – Trade show organizers reported an average exhibitor retention rate of 80%  and an average 42% in net profits in 2013, according to the Exhibit & Sponsorship Sales Metrics & Practices Study produced by Exhibit Surveys Inc. and Lippman Connects.

The online survey was emailed to 1,992 exhibition and event organizer professionals in September and 72 questionnaires were submitted. The study garnered a 4% return rate with the maximum statistical error at a 95%, with a confidence level of ±11%. Respondents were primarily from associations (81%) with only 19% representing independent organizers. The average event revenue for respondents was $8.4 million.

“From a research perspective, we consider the results to be directional in nature as opposed to necessarily representing the whole industry, but I think there are some interesting findings,” said Skip Cox, president and CEO, Exhibit Surveys Inc.

Among the findings, more than one-third of respondents are using or planning to use differentiated pricing for exhibit space. In addition, exhibit space accounts for nearly two-thirds (64%) of an event’s total revenue followed by revenue from attendees
(19%) and sponsorship sales (12%).

“Prices for exhibit space and sponsorships have increased somewhat – by 1% to 2% — although the majority of events had no change in pricing from their past event,” said Sam Lippman, president and founder, Lippman Connects, which produces four events for the trade show industry. In fact, 55% of respondents reported no increase year-over-year in exhibit space rates.

To build exhibitor prospect lists, show organizers rely heavily on competitive events and industry publications. Among respondents, 67% report using competitive event directories and 65% report using industry publications. Only 44% report using LinkedIn.

When it comes to sponsorships, 74% of show organizers believe that sponsored materials such as lanyards and bags provide the most value for exhibitors. Organizers rank e-newsletter or e-mail sponsorships as next most effective (57%), followed by signage (55%), conference/education track/individual sessions (54%) and keynote address (52%).

Reach Sam Lippman at (703) 979-4904 or; Skip Cox at (732) 741-3170 or

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