Lime Venue Portfolio has unveiled new industry research that sheds light on the changing buying habits of exhibitors. The research showed that the biggest overall trend is the continuing focus of exhibition organisers on return on investment (ROI).*

The research focuses on the key motivators for companies going to exhibitions, and the clear ROI agenda was established throughout. For example, 63% of respondents chose ‘Quality of Attendees’ as more important than the 18% of people who chose ‘Volume of Attendees’. The second most important factor in organising an event was ‘Cost’ at 53%, further endorsing the focus on quality versus benefit. ‘Industry’ and ‘Location’ were a joint third, each with 40% of the vote, showing that geographical and sector-led decisions are still a motivational force when booking a venue.

In terms of activity on site, the survey also showed an intelligent approach to exhibiting, with 82% prioritising ‘Meet New Customers’, 63% choosing ‘Build Brand Awareness’, and 43% using the forum to ‘Meet Existing Customers’, as the main priorities for success. Exhibitors’ own marketing also represented an increased focus on gaining returns outside of exhibition day and throughout the annual cycle of the event; 19% of exhibitors choosing to market between 6 to 12 months out, 18% between 4 to 6 months out, and 22% between 2 to 4 months out.

“The research shows a really mature approach to exhibition activity from businesses,” commented Jenner Carter, Head of Marketing, Lime Venue Portfolio. “It demonstrates a good approach to pre-event marketing, clear identifiable objectives on site, and a focus on ROI. It’s good news for the exhibition sector as we are celebrating the very best of exhibitions during Global Exhibitions Day.”

The upshot of much of the survey responses was further established through the investment budgets allocated to exhibitions by businesses. In terms of marketing, 28% of exhibitors allocate around 5% to marketing spend, 36% allocating 5 to 10% of the overall budget and 23% allocating 10 to 20%. 75% of all businesses also commented that they would increase engagement with exhibitions in the future.

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* Research conducted with Display Wizard

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