If organizers better understood what exhibitors wanted from their exhibition investment, they would be in a better position to help. In the past this has been a major obstacle and much of the blame can be placed in the hands of exhibitors who either spent little time developing objectives or chose objectives that were vague at best.
Recent research by the German Trade Fair Industry Association (AUMA) has provided some insight into the minds of exhibitors. In descending order of importance, they found the following objectives were most important to exhibitors:
Enhancing awareness – 96%
Customer care – 95%
New customer acquisition – 93%
Image improvement – 91%
Present new products or services – 87%
Open new markets – 79%
Find new partners – 74%
Conclude sales and contracts – 73%
Find distribution channels – 58%
What is interesting to me is that of the top five objectives four of them are not measured by R.O.I. which seems to be the focus of much discussion between exhibit managers and their senior management.