This Just In

Third Report in CEIR’s Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Series Explores Effectiveness of Performance Metrics

Maddy Ryley, Managing Editor
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the third report in its Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Driving Revenue Growth series.

CHICAGO — The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the third report in its Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Driving Revenue Growth series. The third report shares the metrics’ effectiveness that are used by B2B event organizers to determine the results of exhibit and sponsorship programs.

According to the report, the metrics used to determine the result of sponsorship and exhibit sales are not just focused on how much revenue is generated, with many organizers also looking to balance net revenues with providing attendees, exhibitors and sponsors with an impactful event.

Eighty-eight percent of organizers use many B2B exhibition-focused metrics, such as performance of digital sponsorships overall and generating additional revenue with minimal staff resources to execute, to evaluate their outcomes. On average, B2B organizers use 3.4 B2B exhibition-focused metrics, with the three most used being performance of exhibit sales overall (62%), positive impact on attendee experience (61%) and net revenue generator/profitability (61%).

Of the 61% that use positive impact on attendee experience as a metric, 88% find the use effective, while 86% of those using net revenue generator/profitability and performance of exhibit sales overall metrics find it effective.

“Traditionally, many organizers aim to assure certain aspects of an event can be delivered to attendees, and so sponsorships help underwrite those key elements. This supports a positive attendee experience and sponsors achieve their brand recognition goals for underwriting them,” said Nancy Drapeau, IPC, Vice President of Research, CEIR. “It can be a catalyst for change. When prospective sponsors look to explore custom sponsorship opportunities, sales staff can encourage them to think of options that can enhance or offer new experiences for attendees either on or off the show floor via activation areas, product demonstration areas or meaningful face-to-face engagement activities via receptions and special events. They can discuss an encourage in-booth activities that align with top ranked interests of attendees, such new product launch activities, testing etc., that attendees would love.”

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

B2B exhibition organizers also use exhibitor and sponsor-focused metrics to determine their programs’ results. On average, organizers use 2.7 of these kinds of metrics, and 87% use multiple metrics in this category. The top five most common exhibitor and sponsor-focused metrics according to the report are:

  1. Maintaining, supporting relationships with anchors and strategically important exhibitors (67%)
  2. Positive feedback from exhibitor/sponsor per survey (NPS or satisfaction rating) or conversation with contact (62%)
  3. Giving exhibitors of all sizes opportunities to maximize the success of exhibiting through sponsorships (56%)
  4. Positive results in report we submit to an exhibitor detailing outcome of sponsorship (32%)
  5. Positive results in report we submit to sponsor detailing outcome of sponsorship (31%)

While 67% use maintaining, supporting relationships with strategically important exhibitors as a metric, 91% of users report it as being effective. Ninety percent of users of the positive feedback from exhibitors, sponsors per survey results metric find its use to be effective.

The report notes that while fewer exhibition organizers provide reports detailing investment outcomes to sponsors and exhibitors, the effectiveness of that metric is high, as the effort on the organizer’s part shows sponsors and exhibitors that they are willing to be a strategic partner. CEIR’s report says that by not providing sponsors and exhibitors with these kinds of reports, organizers could be missing an opportunity and widening the gap in meeting the exhibitors’ and sponsors’ expectations.

“Providing the results, whether exhibitor/sponsor goals are achieved or not provides the sales team with a tool to have a follow up conversation with an exhibitor or sponsor. It also provides organizers with insights to understand the event’s strengths and weaknesses. These insights can help guide continuous quality improvements to make the event better moving forward,” Drapeau said.

For both exhibition-focused and exhibitor and sponsor-focused metrics, CEIR reports that the larger the event by NSF/NSM of paid space, exhibitor numbers, number of attendees and gross revenues, the more performance metrics are used. According to the report, association event organizers use more metrics, both exhibition-focused and exhibit and sponsor-focused, than independent organizers on average.

Find and purchase/download the report here: “Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Approaches Driving Revenue Growth Report Three: Performance Metrics for Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales and Outcomes”

Reach Nancy Drapeau at

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