The vision of this research study is to first gain new behavioral insight on attendees as ‘consumers’, with special needs and preferences. Then, use this insight to develop new industry strategies to maximize attendance.
Attendees are consumers; discerning travelers who may choose to attend conventions & exhibitions - or not. That’s why the mutual goal of both meeting/exhibition professionals and DMOs is generating positive word-of-mouth by attendees, resulting in repeat bookings and increased attendance.
The Study’s goal is to identify the factors impacting the Decision to Attend relative to the total visitor experience, upon which meetings/exhibition professionals and destinations can build their attendance promotion strategies. Ultimately the results of this study will:
- Lead a sea-change toward defining the attendee as the ‘customer’
- Provide feedback to destination leaders to shape the overall experience
- Develop best practices and strategies to maximize attendance
Phase One Results:
This extensive report presents information collected from an on-line survey resulting in 7,171 responses from current and potential attendees. The survey examined the reasons individuals chose to attend or not attend conventions and exhibitions, held by 10 different organizations representing a wide variety of professions and industries. This data will be used as the baseline metrics for measuring what influences and what deters attendee participation. The future goal of the study is to go beyond the traditional group profile by adding behavioral data that will allow meeting professionals, show organizers and DMOs to tailor their conventions and exhibitions to maximize on needs, attitudes and preferences indicated by potential attendees.
Samplings of the data presented in Decision to Attend Study – Phase One report include
Three-quarters of attendees will consider returning to the destination for leisure travel, if the experience is positive.
- One-half of attendees likely combine attending a meeting with a vacation opportunity, resulting in additional room nights.
- Another half of attendees likely bring someone with them, multiplying overall spend.
- Three-quarters of attendees take advantage of destination offerings by ‘getting out and about’, with Gen Y Millenials leading the pack at 85 percent.
- Eight in 10 will recommend the destination, exhibition and/or event to others, if the experience is positive.