Insights in global behaviour of exhibition visitors
UFI - the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry has released a thought-provoking report that focuses on visitors of exhibitions around the globe. This report was jointly researched, written and supported by SISO, the Society of Independent Show Organizers (USA).
The comprehensive analysis is based on event research specialist Explori’s global database, consolidating visitor surveys from a sample of 920 events worldwide. It delivers key findings related to the visitor’s behaviour, the levels of loyalty and advocacy of the industry, their needs and, the extent to which these needs are being met by the industry:
Exhibitions in the more developed exhibition markets tend to achieve higher satisfaction levels than those in less matured markets. Despite this, events in less matured markets benefit from a “return bonus” effect, with higher levels of loyalty than might be predicted by their ability to satisfy their visitors.
There is also an inherent difference between what satisfied and dissatisfied visitors prioritise when providing feedback on events. Dissatisfied visitors tend not to focus on so called “hygiene factors” such as venue layout, signage or catering, but highlight far more fundamental problems as the cause of their lack of satisfaction.
Although, as anticipated, the report identifies contrasting visitor perception and behaviour across different regions and sectors, there are, however, global trends that are universal. The data shows that visitors desire to see innovations in their sector, both in the content and particularly on the exhibition floor, more so than educational content or networking.
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director / CEO, said: “The success of our industry depends on many factors, but the two most important customer groups exhibition organisers all around the world have to focus on are exhibitors and exhibition visitors. Surprisingly, so far there had been very limited global insight into what visitors expect from exhibitions, and data based guidance on what organisers can and must do in different regional exhibition markets around the world to ensure their visitors are served well or, better yet, to turn them into advocates. We are pleased work with Explori to share this research and we hope that it will help our industry to strengthen its unique position in the marketing mix of companies.”
Mark Brewster, Explori CEO, declared: “With an increasingly globalised and connected audience, the competitive environment in which each show operates, both in terms of its geographical location and its market sector are critical components in determining and understanding visitor attitudes. This research identifies marked differences, with events in every region and every sector that are delivering outstanding experiences for their visitors, but also a cohort that is currently being flattered by the market in which they operate”.
A summary of the research is available free of charge at www.ufi.org/research, while UFI Members benefit from the full report, in the UFI Members’ area.