Mark Twain is credited for saying it was, but equally it can be really heartening to have a sense of where you are in relation to the best and worst in a sector, to help set targets and provide context.
We created our benchmarks for the exhibitions industry when we launched Zing back in 2011 (where did those 6 years go!) and have added and enhanced them ever since, publishing an updated benchmark each January.
We use the benchmarks in lots of our client reporting and to track events industry performance. We have benchmarks for consumer, trade and outdoor events and can cut the data in a number of other ways, e.g. across portfolio where we research multiple events for an organisation.
Unlike other industry benchmarks, ours are weighted based on the scale of the event, meaning that smaller, niche events cannot have undue influence on the overall benchmarks. Some exhibition industry benchmarks include small scale conferences and/or meetings events which can represent unfair comparisons with exhibitions.
So what do our 2017 benchmarks tell us? Let’s start with B2B.
Visitor acquisition and retention rates are holding fast year on year, with an average 45% of trade event visitors new each year. Unsurprising since almost 70% of event visitors feel they will definitely or probably return to the next event.
On average, 85% have some purchasing influence, 2 in 10 visitors place orders at a show, 63% find a new supplier, specify items and/or consider placing orders as a result of their visit and 4 in 10 had not visited another ‘competitor’ event in the last 2 years.
The trade NPS remains constant, as it has for the last 3 years, with the top 25% of events achieving scores of +24 or above.
Onto consumer events, new visitor acquisition has fallen year-on-year, which seems to be driven by a reduction in above the line marketing and increased reliance on database marketing. This may become problematic in 2018 unless data teams are ahead on the new GDPR compliance.
It’s unsurprising then that the average show visitor age has risen year-on-year.
While overall satisfaction and value for money ratings remain constant year-on-year, the decrease in new visitor acquisition has impacted NPS negatively. A consumer event needs to score +44 or more to be in the top 25%.
If you’d like to know how your event stacks up and hear more about our benchmarks, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
Posted by: Lisa