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Second Report in the CEIR Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Series Details Effective Approaches and Techniques for Generating Revenue Through Sales

Graphic representing the CEIR Report 2 Cover

CHICAGO — The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the second report in its Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches series, detailing the effectiveness of approaches to selling exhibit booths and sponsorships for B2B trade show organizers.

The report found that sales teams use an average of three to four approaches while selling trade show exhibit booths, and remote staff-assisted selling was found to be the most effective in generating revenue. According to the report, 93% of those surveys said phone calls are effective, 89% reported email as effective and 84% found video conferencing to be effective. 

Using an online self-serving approach to trade show exhibit booth sales was reported as effective and generating revenue by 84% of organizers, while an in-person approach was cited as effective by 85% of respondents, showing that online selling rivals in-person selling in effectiveness.

For sponsorship sales, sales teams use an average of four approaches and report staff-assisted selling approaches as the most effective revenue generators, like phone calls (92%), email (85%), video conference (84%) and in-person (83%). The CEIR report found that online self-serving approaches for sponsorship sales are less effective in generating revenue than it is with exhibit booth sales.

Related. CEIR Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Report Reveals the Top-Ranked Revenue Generators to Guide Sponsorship Offerings

To increase revenue from sales of exhibit booths and sponsorships, trade show organizers maximize the appeal of the offerings by aligning them with what exhibitors and sponsors are working to achieve. In looking at the objectives of exhibitors and sponsors identified as being the most effective in driving booth and sponsorship sales, branding, sales lead generation and face-to-face engagement came in as the top three. New product promotions, industry thought leadership, sales, product experience and partnership opportunities followed, respectively.

CEIR’s report found that for new prospect targeting, looking at job titles can help organizers identify who to contact at the outset. Marketing and communication leadership job titles were identified as the most successful in generating sales at events by 61% of respondents, sales leadership by 40% and overall executive management by 28%. Based on the findings, CEIR advises show organizers to reach out to sales leadership.

When analyzing techniques to maximize closing exhibit and sponsorship sales, creating urgency was ranked as the most popular, followed by peer commentary and real-world examples and systematic outreach to cold leads via tech support. Organizers can create urgency by giving onsite priority space selection for exhibit booths, price promotions or other closing incentives, and priority space selection for exhibit booths held at a set time following the event via online video.

“This new report gets to the heart of the matter of how exhibits and sponsorships are sold,” CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, IPC, said. “Which work best, staff-assisted selling options or online self-serve options or a mix? There are some provocative findings that will inevitably prompt discussion during sales planning. The report also provides guidance on other areas found to drive sales: new prospect job titles to target and messaging tied to exhibitor and sponsorship objectives.”

To download a copy of the report, go here:

Reach Nancy Drapeau at

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