New CEIR report on What Attendees Want from Trade Exhibitions

Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) issued a new report, What Attendees Want from Trade Exhibitions.

Results profiled in this report come from a study that was originally conducted 10 years ago. It provides valuable up-to-date insights into what attendees are looking to achieve when they visit business-to-business exhibitions.

Key findings include:

  • Many attendees have dual agendas when they visit exhibitions, looking to serve both organizational and personal needs. Nearly the same percentages of attendees come to shop (69 per cent) or learn (66 per cent).
  • The top-ranked important reasons for attending exhibitions is a blend of coming to see what is new and having a chance to interact with experts. The highest-importance scores are achieved for: see new technology, have the chance to talk to experts and gain industry insights.
  • Exhibitions are doing well in meeting the needs of attendees, with more than a majority of attendees saying their top-ranked important needs are met. Additionally, there are areas of opportunity for exhibitors and organizers to further ramp up the value of exhibitions in meeting shopping needs as they relate to current problems and purchase decisions.

CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau, PRC, said, “CEIR is thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate again with Dr. Jeff Tanner, given his extensive expertise in business marketing. It has been a pleasure to work with him. We will be issuing more reports in the coming months from this initiative.”

Jeff Tanner, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing at Baylor University noted, “This study confirms the importance of exhibitions in organizational buying. While new channels of marketing communications seem to spring up every day, exhibitions continue to deliver value and meet the needs of today’s business professional.”

This study was conducted by Jeff Tanner, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Baylor University, and Nancy Drapeau, PRC, research director of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) using a panel of exhibition attendees provided by ResearchNow. The study was made possible by a grant from the CEIR Foundation and is available at

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