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April 8 2020Exhibition industry

Exhibitions score points with experiences and networking

Exhibitors wish to create emotions for their customers

German exhibiting companies consider trade fairs to offer substantial advantages over digital instruments – like social media and virtual marketplaces. This is one result of a study published in 2019, commissioned by AUMA – the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry – and carried out by KANTAR TNS.

Ninety-nine per cent of the exhibitors surveyed consider personal contact and the opportunity for direct networking to be significant advantages of exhibitions. Ninety-five per cent see an advantage in the opportunity to advise potential customers directly through com-pany employees with a wide range of expertise.

Eighty-two per cent of the companies surveyed regard the possibility of authentic product presentations and hereby addressing all five senses to be a significant advantage of exhibitions over digital formats. Nearly 50% of exhibitors consider it important that products may be checked at trade fairs with no obligation to purchase them.  60% see a sustainable positive effect for their companies if they can create experiences for trade visitors.

AUMA views the survey results as evidence that most companies clearly recognise how to distinguish themselves by a direct customer approach during exhibitions. This does not mean exhibitors see the question in either/or terms of exhibitions and digital media: 62% also use social media for their B2B communication, for example, and 49% use online advertising. 23% of exhibitors utilise virtual marketplaces, additionally, but this is no reason for exhibitors to do without classic trade fairs. Rather the limited range of functionalities, caused by technical issues, makes the visitors want for direct contact with real persons and products.

The survey is based on an opinion poll of 500 representative German companies that exhibit at fairs with a focus on trade visitors.

Picture material

Trade fairs as an experience space. Photo © Messe München GmbH / Sebasian Rech

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Trade fairs as an experience space. © Messe Berlin GmbH / Till Budde

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