October 26, 2023 by Dave Lutz
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the business-to-business exhibition industry is still in recovery mode. The bad news is that full year performance for 2023 participation and revenues is expected to be 9.5% below 2019. The good news is that 2024 is expected to eclipse 2019 results by 3.6%. (One can only hope!)
Whether your results are better or worse than the CEIR index, I think it is a helpful top-line metric for benchmarking and sharing with your organization’s leadership. For most business event professionals, rebuilding attendance and overall revenue is priority one.
The CEIR index gives us a good view of top-line performance – participation and revenue. Business event professionals are also challenged to deliver net income to the bottom-line. The two tensions to accomplishing this priority include:
While there is no one-size fits all or silver bullet solution for these tensions; it’s important to know that you’re not alone.
The three expense categories attendees value the most are also the ones that are escalating in cost faster than inflation. The big three include food & beverage, A/V + production and speakers/entertainment. Any cut-backs made in these categories can negatively impact your attendee value proposition. In addition to negotiating and locking in pricing, some of the tactics to consider are:
Quite a few of our clients are having difficulty filling mid and entry-level planner positions with experienced professionals. Candidate expectations for title, compensation and work flexibility are at all-time highs. This is having a trickle-down impact, creating increased workloads and stress for the seasoned event team members. Event innovation often takes a back seat. Here are examples of how some professionals are working through this issue:
One of the post-pandemic trends we’re starting to see emerge is that event exhibitor and sponsor revenue is lagging attendance recovery. To offset this decline, some associations are re-assessing and expanding their annual partner programs. Top investors often want to be viewed as thought leaders and supporters throughout the year. In many cases, it makes sense to consolidate business development and fulfillment resources and organize them around your customers instead of your products.
Filed Under: Event Planning
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