The impact of visitor loyalty: consumer and trade exhibitions

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Any trade show or consumer exhibition past its first year has a visitor audience made up of new and previous visitors and it is critical for success to monitor these two groups. New attendees are vitally important because organisers do not have repeat visitors without them. It’s a statement of the obvious, but in developing event marketing and editorial content organisers must both sell their brand and experience, and a trade show’s business benefits to new visitors, while also providing previous visitors with reasons to ‘come back’. The importance of this can be seen in data from the Vivid Event Performance Indices (below). In the case of trade shows, we can see 43 per cent of visitors are new on average and 57 per cent attended previously. The index also shows that of those previous visitors, only around half were at the event the year before.Therefore, for the average trade show, only about 30 per cent of visitors attended the year before. On average, 45 per cent of visitors at consumer shows are attending for the first time, while 55 per cent have been previously. On average, only half the previous visitors were at the event the year before, meaning up to 70 per cent of visitors in any year were not at the event the previous year. In seeking to understand the behaviour of previous visitors, we defined a ‘loyalists’ category. A loyalist is as a visitor that has attended an event every year for three years (that is, the three most recent events). For consumer exhibitions, loyalists represent 23 per cent of the visitor base on average (below). The minimum we’ve recorded is 15 per cent of the visitor base, while the highest is 43 per cent. For trade shows, the position is less clear because there is a difference between a repeat visitor as a person and a repeat visitor from a company, but a similar picture applies. Graph 2 also illustrates one example from a successful peripatetic trade show where 37 per cent of the visitor base is loyalists. The same is true for other established trade shows.Why does this matter? Shows need to understand their most loyal customers well. The consumer event organiser that has 43 per cent loyalists, and the trade show organiser with 37 per cent loyalists, command strong positions. They know if they get the event right for loyalists, then nearly half their visitor audience is guaranteed. They can then focus on attracting new visitors and encouraging others to return. Our experience tells us loyal visitors engage more with event features and spend more with exhibitors both at-show and post-show. Loyalists are also more likely to promote the show for organisers (below) and as word-of-mouth is almost always the most important means of marketing communications for any trade show or consumer exhibition, loyalists are key visitors. Finally, it reassuring to know loyal visitors are the most likely to say they will return to the event. Any comments? Email exhibitionnews@mashmedia.net
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.

Future releases interim results

Group revenue is up for media platform Future plc, which has released its financial results for the six-month period ending 31 March 2017.

Elsewhere on EN

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Following the explosion at Manchester Arena yesterday evening, which killed 22 and injured 59, associations and venues in the events industry have released statements.
AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.
BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.

EN Awards Highlights

silverstream.tv

Most read Stories

Building emerald cities

Building emerald cities

From Malaria to Blenheim, through to UBM, Jane Risby-Rose – the 20-year story of her yellow brick road industry journey.
Come to Confex and be inspired

Come to Confex and be inspired

The exhibition and events industry is all about the power of face-to-face, the art of exhibiting and networking with old friends and new, which is why EN would like to personally invite you to attend International Confex to learn more.
5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

5 top marketing tips from AEO Forums 2016

Looking to the future and learning from the past at AEO Forums 2016.

Latest News

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Industry reacts to Manchester Arena attack

Following the explosion at Manchester Arena yesterday evening, which killed 22 and injured 59, associations and venues in the events industry have released statements.
AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.
BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.

Latest Galleries

Grand Designs Live 2017

Grand Designs Live 2017

The 13th edition of Media 10’s Grand Designs Live returned to ExCeL London from 29 April to 7 May, featuring more than 500 exhibitors across six key sections. Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud one again hosted the nine-day exhibition.
Insomnia60

Insomnia60

Over 50,000 video game fans from across the country descended on Birmingham’s NEC on 14-17 April for Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival.
A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.

Latest Opinions

Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.
You get what you ask for

You get what you ask for

Sue Berry, managing director at TimelessTime Ltd, discusses the importance of people metrics and measurable objectives.
The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

Following the global cyber attack on 12 May, event tech supplier RefTech has compiled a checklist for individuals and companies to follow to help them reduce the risk of future attacks.