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CEIR releases Third Report in Attendee Retention Insights Series

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Findings from this study suggest that the influence of education offerings on generating repeat attendance varies contingent on the type of event and profile of an attendee.

DALLAS – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced the release of the third report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights Part Three: Education Content that Builds a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience. This landmark body of research offers organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the profile of attendees that visit an exhibition repeatedly and the content that turns them into loyal customers.

“CEIR is pleased to continue to roll out new insights from this popular study series,” said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. “When it comes to education, it is essentially important to remember that one size does not fit all. This report reveals education content is most valued by younger alumni looking to advance and sharpen their skills. This content is a critical way to build one’s alumni base with newer professionals. The report also uncovers topic areas valued by professionals who are in more senior roles in their organizations.”

Part Three: Education Content that Builds a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience takes a look at the influence of education offerings in converting attendees to loyal alumni to a specific event. Findings from this study suggest that the influence of education offerings on generating repeat attendance varies contingent on the type of event and profile of an attendee.

Key findings observe:

  • Nearly all surveyed exhibition organizers, 93 percent, say their events offer education sessions. Despite this, on average, the percentage of repeat attendees that say they attend education sessions is less than half, 39 percent.
  • Demographically, the biggest users of education sessions are found among young attendees, those in lower level job roles among other key demographics.
  • Attendance at education sessions varies substantially based on the type of event. There is a higher rate of attending education sessions, six out of 10 or more, among repeat attendees frequenting events fitting into the following profiles:
  • Association run
  • Rotates locations
  • Includes a weekend day
  • Smaller-sized exhibitions

This report provides a detailed look at education topics, formats and speaker types that alumni most value in meeting their needs. It also pinpoints where organizers are doing well in meeting their needs and where there is room for improvement. Case study examples are included on how offerings are delivered.

In addition to total results, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights Part Three: Education Content that Builds a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience identifies unique preferences by attendee demographics, including by gender; age; job level; role in purchasing decisions; organizational size; and profile of event attended. Additionally, exhibition organizer results that differ from total results are reported as well, including by whether association-run or independently-run; size of exhibition by Net Square Feet; and number of attendees.

The 2016 Attendee Retention Insights series consists of five reports focusing on the largest trade shows in the U.S. to understand what generates loyalty among attendees and how event organizers motivate them to return on a regular basis. Input was sought from organizer and repeat attendee perspectives. The resulting reports offer readers a road map for benchmarking attendee retention strategy practices with industry norms; an understanding of commonly held characteristics of professionals who attend a given event regularly; and insights to guide organizers in their marketing and event development.

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