Survey: As expo attendance declines, exhibitors focus on attendee quality

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Shelton, Conn.—Exhibitors at trade shows are becoming increasingly focused on attendee quality and buying power, in particular, as they plan to exhibit at fewer shows this year, according to a new research study by BPA Worldwide.

According to BPA’s “Determining Exhibitor ROI at B-to-B Tradeshow Events,” exhibitors rank the purchasing influence and buying power of attendees as the top factors when deciding whether to exhibit at a given event, named by 46% of respondents. A show’s past success (44%) and its topic, theme and content focus (41%) also rated highly among respondents.

The prevalence of audited trade shows in the U.S. lags, compared with the U.K., Europe and Asia, the report noted, although 47% of U.S. respondents indicated that an independent trade show audit is either extremely or somewhat important in verifying show attendance.

BPA Worldwide audits b-to-b and consumer magazines, newspapers and events. Its online survey was conducted in November and December. It polled 6,600 exhibitors at U.S. trade shows, with 376 surveys completed in full.

—Christopher Hosford

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