Exhibitors aren't the only ones who travel far and wide for trade shows. In fact, just 28 percent of event attendees hail from within 200 miles of the exhibit venue, while more than half (58 percent) journey more than 400 miles to attend. Some even hail from other countries!
These were just a few of the findings highlighted by the most recent edition of Exhibit Surveys Inc.'s annual Trade Show Trends report, which details industry trends and showcases the top events of the year. In addition to providing statistics on geographic diversity, the report also offered the following insights:
- First-timers composed 38 percent of attendees in 2013, while veterans (those who had attended at least three of the past four annual shows) made up 28 percent.
- The majority (82 percent) of people who frequented last year's trade shows had buying influence, meaning their companies look to them for purchasing recommendations or even allow them to make final decisions.
- Half (49 percent) of 2013 trade show attendees came to the events with the intent to purchase.
- Exhibit staff were generally well-regarded – 92 percent of survey respondents said their experiences with staffers were "good, very good or excellent," and only 6 percent stated that they found exhibits to be understaffed.
The jury's still out on what the next iteration of the Trade Show Trends report will reveal, but as the end of the year approaches, event organizers and exhibitors might reference 2014 predictions to see what came true.
For instance, trade show coach Susan Friedmann predicted in a blog post on her website that video would become a more important part of marketing strategies. Meanwhile, GenieConnect's Michael Douglas forecast that event Wi-Fi would begin to evolve from a nice-to-have to a must-have, according to TSNN.