Younger professionals drive events growth

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Dallas—Growth in trade show attendance has been fueled by younger professionals, a trend that will continue for at least the next two years, a study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found. Almost 30% of professionals under age 40 who have attended exhibitions reported that they attended more shows in 2012 than two years earlier, according to the study, “Generational Differences in Face-to-Face Interaction Preferences and Activities.” This compares to 20% of respondents ages 40 to 49 and 12% of those 50 to 64. Looking ahead, 31% of professionals under age 40 anticipated attending more exhibitions in two years, while only 23% of those 40 to 49 and 16% of those 50 to 64 expected to attend more shows. “The fear that the relevance of this medium will wane with younger professionals is not evidenced in this study,” said Nancy Drapeau, CEIR research director, in a statement. The study was conducted through online surveys of participants from a sampling of the top 250 b-to-b exhibitions in the U.S. during 2012. More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors responded.
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