Face-to-Face Report : June 2011


Annual Exhibition Industry Outlook Conference to Provide 2012-13 Forecasts

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced its annual industry outlook conference, Predict, which will be held on September 15 at the Time Warner Center in New York City. The by-invitation-only event will be limited to C-level executives and will focus on the CEIR Index Report, which provides an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, measuring year-over-year changes and predictions through 2013.

Throughout the event, speakers will engage attendees by providing a forecast for the 14 industry sectors for the remainder of 2011 as well as an outlook for 2012 and 2013. Executives will share future operating strategies including projected event growth, merger and acquisition strategies and planned launches. Attendance will be limited to no more than 200 participants, including exhibition industry executive decision makers, merger and acquisition firms, private equity firms, debt providers, investment firms and the financial press to allow for an intimate, high-level idea exchange about the future of the exhibition industry and implications for specific business sectors and their supporting exhibitions.

“At this pivotal time in the exhibition industry, CEIR Predict is the unprecedented opportunity for executives to attend. It will outline predictions for the near future and serve as the platform for attendees to plan and budget and value their events. CEIR Predict will be the premier gateway to understanding the future performance of the exhibition industry,” says Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP, president and CEO of CEIR.

Confirmed speakers include economists Allen Shaw, Ph.D. with Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. and Jeffrey Werling, Ph.D. with Inforum and the University of Maryland, who led the economic analysis of the Index. Keynotes will be presented by the Chairman and Founder of Oxford Economics John Walker and U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. Chief Operating Officer for dmg::events Galen Poss, CEM, will moderate CEIR Predict.

As a part of the registration fee, attendees will be furnished an iPad to use during the conference which includes a specialized app developed for the CEIR Predict event. The app will serve as the portal for all event content and materials to ensure real-time evaluation of specific industry data and a positive correlative experience, and the app will also be used to provide updates throughout the year.

For more information and to submit your application, click here.  


Virtual Events and Environments

Unisfair survey shows surging marketer adoption 

Recent research from Unisfair shows that virtual engagement is gaining momentum, training and collaboration. Based on responses from more than 500 marketers nationwide, the second annual survey finds that 60% of respondents plan to increase spending on virtual events and environments this year and that, if budgets were not an issue, 67% would host 10 or more virtual events in the next 12 months.

Key findings include:

  • 60% will increase spending on virtual events and environments in 2011, while 42% will decrease spending on physical events
  • 67% would like to host 10 or more virtual events this year
  • 87% predict hybrid (part physical, part virtual) events will represent at least half of all events in the next five years
  • 62% want the ability to attend a virtual event from a mobile device

According to the survey, 42% of marketers plan to decrease spending on physical conferences and tradeshows over the next year. Respondents are turning to virtual events, with 40% indicating the primary benefit of holding a virtual event is the ability to reach a much larger audience for less money. They also indicated that they will host virtual events for a number of purposes in the next 12 months, including: training (42%); customer engagement (36%); internal collaboration (34%); lead generation (29%); and networking (8%).

To view the entire survey, click here.


U.S. Travel Association Unveils Plan to Boost International Travel

These days, international travel (especially the planning part) to the United States does not come easy. For many, obtaining visas is an arduous task and this fact alone is preventing billions of dollars of economic output, reports the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) in Expo magazine. 

In a new report called "Ready for Takeoff: A Plan to Create 1.3 Million Jobs by Welcoming Millions of International Travelers," the USTA has compiled the impact the entry process has had on the U.S. economy and proposes a multi-step plan to fix it.

While boosting international travel to the U.S. clearly benefits a host of markets, such as tourism, it also has a tremendous impact on exports and, accordingly, the trade show industry.

Last year, says the USTA, international travel to the U.S. generated more than $134 billion in exports and supported 1.8 million jobs. By recapturing a 17% share of overseas travel, which the U.S. had in 2000, exports would jump by a cumulative $390 billion over 10 years.

That 17% market share has become the recommended benchmark to regain for the country, which slipped away between 2000 and 2010, a "lost decade" for the U.S., says the USTA. That decade saw the world travel market grow by 60 million annual travelers, yet the U.S. last year brought in the same number of travelers it did in 2000.

For more details on the report, click here.


Face-to-Face is "Safe and Sound"

Exhibitor magazine's 2011 Virtual Events Survey revealed that marketers are not adopting virtual alternatives to live events as rapidly as previously expected. 

“For the time being, it appears face-to-face is safe and sound," said Travis Stanton, editor of Exhibitor magazine. "But as more marketers become increasingly familiar with virtual alternatives, and as virtual-event firms become more adept at selling their benefits, their impact on our industry will undoubtedly increase."

The survey uncovered these additional findings:

  • Less than 40% of companies surveyed have ever participated in a virtual event, the majority of which participated as an attendee only, rather than as an exhibitor, sponsor or organizer.
  • Among marketers who have already dipped their toes in the virtual waters, only 28% claim those virtual efforts "met" or "exceeded" their expectations.
  • Nearly half of respondents who have used virtual events reported that virtual events helped them increase their brand awareness, and 36% reported that their virtual events attracted attendees who did not attend live trade shows and events at which they participated, effectively extending the reach of their marketing campaigns.
  • 68% of respondents who have participated in virtual events say they'd rather host a live event, most notably because they "miss the energy and networking of a live event" or because "attendees seemed less engaged during virtual events."
  • Less than 30% of marketers claim they personally understand how to execute virtual events.
  • When asked about their personal prognosis for virtual events in the context of exhibit and event marketing, 59% say virtual events offer only moderate potential.



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