Weekly News & Insights: And the Attendees Keep Coming …

Photo: stock.xchng/qute

Photo: stock.xchng/qute

No matter what their job title, attendees go to shows for the same primary reasons — to shop, buy and learn — according to a recent study conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). Study participants ranged from executives to lower management and staff, and the choices included 22 possible reasons to attend. Each management level varied as far as their more specific reasons, which ranged from checking out new technology or products to the ability to talk with experts. For a more detailed breakdown of the findings, Trade Show Executive has compiled a great summary, or the complete Attendee Preferences by Job Title report is available through CEIR.

Whatever their reasons, attendees are coming back to shows in huge numbers. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas this month featured their largest show floor in a decade and an attendance rate that was up more than 4 percent over last year. Over 98,000 people came to check out the leading technologies in media and communications.

Last year, Orlando set a record for the most visitors ever — a total of 59 million, which was up 3 percent from 2012 and also the most for any U.S. destination … ever. While obviously not all of them were there for trade shows or conferences, it’s no doubt that a significant percentage of them spent some time at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).

Meetings and trade shows will be in the spotlight at the first-ever Exhibitions Day in Washington, D.C. on June 16 and 17. Hosted by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the purpose of the two-day event is to educate legislators on the impact of the exhibitions and events industry. Several other industry associations and publications will be joining with IAEE to advocate for issues including the Visa Waiver Program to draw in more international attendees and the relaxing of restrictions on government employees attending meetings.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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