Interaction and immersion top list
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s (CEIR) latest report, Exhibition Floor Interaction: What Attendees Want, documents attendee floor interaction preferences at business-to-business exhibitions. These findings are essential for organizers and exhibitors alike, who seek to deliver what attendees want to experience at an exhibition.
“When professionals attend an exhibition, they want to jump in and immerse themselves with the products and services showcased at the event,” says CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. “Interaction trumps theatre-style presentations today, as attendees want hands-on experience with products. When they have a question or want to learn more, they expect to engage with knowledgeable exhibitor staff.”
Exhibition Floor Interaction: What Attendees Want provides an overview of the experiences attendees are seeking on the floor in general, as well as by their role in their organization’s purchasing decisions, by gender, job title and age.
This report pinpoints the demand for an immersive experience – evidence that attendees look to take advantage of the in-person, physical environment that is unique to live exhibitions and not available online. First and foremost, attendees aim to interact and understand products that are showcased. When they are ready to learn more about a prospective product or service, they are interested in engaging with the people behind the products.
Jeff Tanner, professor of marketing at Baylor University and the study’s co-author, says, “Today’s empowered customer expects more from all marketing, and the same is true when they are attending an exhibition.”
Preferences differ in terms of a professional’s interest in engaging with vendors they do not know. Luckily, individuals who make purchasing decisions are most open to this opportunity. Other differences are discussed in this report, including managerial implications as well as recommendations for organizers and exhibitors, on the various opportunities and ideas on adjusting approaches in light of current trends.