Event Attendees Say Face-to-Face Meetings Are More Important Than Two Years Ago

The value of face-to-face events is increasing, according to a new report from The Center for Exhibition Research, “Change in Value Over Next Two Years and Effects of the Great Recession and Online Media.” Nearly half (48 percent) of event attendees surveyed say that face-to-face interactions experienced at exhibits at exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings are more valuable today than two years ago. And 43 percent believe the value of these interactions will continue to increase over the next two years. No other face-to-face interaction alternative comes close to these results.

The new report is the second in a landmark series of CEIR research, called “The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction.” Additional reports in the series will be released over the next quarter.

Among exhibitors, the value of face-to-face interactions also is increasing. Most exhibitors place the highest value on in-person sales calls, and exhibitions and conventions. Looking ahead to the next two years, exhibitors anticipate increased value on these two face-to-face settings.

"This second report provides detail on the strength of the value attendees and exhibitors place on exhibitions compared to alternatives, and results point to exhibitions enjoying high value ratings among both audiences,” said CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau, PRC, in a statement announcing the new report’s findings.

The report also explores the impact of the economy and digital media on the industry. “This report also affirms that exhibition activity is vulnerable to economic downswings though other findings in the study as well as other CEIR research point to a positive outlook moving forward. Online digital activity has minimal impact," stated Drapeau. 

More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors participated in this research. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation and is available at CEIR’s website. 
IAEE members can access the CEIR library and reports at no cost, and non-members can purchase the report for $49.