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Second CEIR Attendee Acquisition Report Gets Back to Basics

CEIR attendee acquisition trends

DALLAS — The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)’s second report on acquisition trends, entitled “Marketing Channel Mix, Messaging and Other Tactics,” sheds light on event marketers’ mindsets and offers 20 real-world tactics for attracting repeat and first-time attendees.  

The report details activities for B2B exhibitions held and planned from 2020 through 2023 and held from 2020 through 2022.  

Many of the most successful strategies were traditional ones. The first, simple as it sounds, is to thoroughly know your attendees so you can speak to their needs. 

How you go about doing that varies and, in many ways, is “the beauty behind omnichannel marketing,” Mary Tucker, CEIR Senior Communications & Content Manager, said. “The ‘heavy lifting’ may come in the form of analyzing your social media channels, conducting direct surveys with your attendees, and/or most likely a mix of the many digital marketing tools available to generate a clear picture of your target audiences. But the effort is worth it.” 

Related. CEIR Index Reports Trade Show Industry Rebound Continues 

The success marketers have is directly proportionate to how effectively they can cut through the digital noise and reach each target segment. The report found that a hyper-targeted, laser-focused approach in building a marketing campaign that reaches and engages with an event’s core target audiences is the most successful strategy. Personalizing the messages to each audience creates deeper connections with them. Aligning the messages with their preferred media consumption preferences, both digital and traditional channels, also is essential. Other strategies included creating collaborations with exhibition partners and relationship selling with key buyers and other groups, along with the strategic use of discounts and premium programs, such as exhibitor invitation programs, to get people to register. 

“We are in a period of recovery, still coming out of the downturn the pandemic imposed on our industry,” CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, IPC, said. “As the results reflect, each quarter shows improvement and performance metrics are steadily getting better. But when looking at attendee acquisition efforts that are working today, and in today’s recovery climate, the data says that it’s smart to go back to fundamentals. Focus on rebuilding your attendee audience.” 

Click here to download “Report Two: Marketing Channel Mix, Messaging and Other Tactics that Drive Recovery,” which is free to CEIR members and $49 for non-members. 

Reach Mary Tucker at; Nancy Drapeau at 

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