For Global Exhibitions Day we’re celebrating the power of exhibitions. Here at Integrate, we’re passionate about the way events create connections between people. Exhibitions are an effective and sustainable way of doing business, and the industry is growing globally.

We reached out to some of our customers, and other leading events experts, to ask: Why are exhibitions and events so important in a connected, digital world?

Reading their answers, some common themes emerged:

  • The importance of face-to-face connection
  • Events as a source of new business leads
  • The value of events for building existing relationships as well as new ones.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your expertise with us – I really appreciate it!

Explori’s research with thousands of trade show visitors round the world suggests that going to exhibitions still offers a unique way for professionals to meet their business objectives. Trade shows were the channel of choice for networking, learning and inspiration ahead of conferences, industry publications and social media. There’s still a strong preference for using trade shows for buying and sourcing products. Three times as many research participants preferred trade shows for buying and sourcing products vs. online channels.

The number of people attending trade shows in future also looks healthy with 88% of visitors around the world telling us that they planned to attend as many shows in future. In fact, in regions where the trade show market is still maturing such as Africa and Latin America, there is a huge appetite for attending even more trade shows with 46% of participants telling us they expected to attend events much more frequently.”

– Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori

Customers don’t want to just buy products anymore; they want to feel like they’re part of your culture and that your values align with theirs. That’s the most effective way to get someone to decide to engage with the company and ultimately make a purchase decision.  Events are your chance to showcase that.”

– Jacquelyn Burrell, Director of Events, Instructure

Your customers and prospects need to feel like you care about them. That’s where trade shows and events come in. EventMobi recruits a lot of new customers at trade shows, but we also use these events to physically meet with existing clients whom we only know in the digital world. A personal connection with a sales rep can make all the difference.”

– Lisa Jeller, Marketing and Event Manager, EventMobi

Organizing events or participating conferences or trade shows is still one of the #1 marketing tactics for Pall to generate leads. Why? That face-to-face interaction with our customers and potential new customers is key. Of course, digital promotion is increasing, but I’d say, you need to have a good mix of traditional and digital activities. And on top of it, you’d need to connect your online and offline activities accordingly, and there we see Integrate Events as a great tool in helping to execute our demand generation at Pall.”

– Wolfgang Weinkum, Global Director, Marketing Automation, Engagement and Lead Management, Pall Corporation

Conferences and trade shows are a time-tested way to connect with industry specialists and potential customers. At Ocean Optics, our events focus on lead generation and brand awareness. About one-third of our lead generation comes from events.”

– Danielle Ravenshorst, Marketing Manager EMEA, Ocean Optics

Exhibitions and trade shows are one of the best ways to connect with prospects and customers. We have a huge amount of success generating new leads from trade shows, because they allow us to speak to prospects face-to-face and start that connection.”

– Rosie Day, Events Manager, Integrate

Focused events and exhibitions continue to form a key part of our marketing mix – since show attendees are often looking to progress their decision making process, leads generated from shows are often higher quality than those generated from other sources. We see great value in this opportunity for face-to-face time with customers and prospects”

– Robert Ashby, European Communications Manager, Carestream

“If maximised, events and exhibitions can provide some of the best opportunities to generate new business, nurture existing customer relationships and provide scope to influence and shape the journey you have with your customers. They are not only an invaluable sales tool, but they also allow you to gather a better picture of where you are in the market, spend time learning about customers’ individual needs and wants, while providing the perfect setting to introduce products to them. All of which coupled together cultivates a greater ROI in the long term.”

– Susan Cummings, Global Events Coordinator, Andor

Thank you, again, to everyone who shared their thoughts with us (and you, our readers)! What about you? Are events important in your business?

What is the biggest benefit they bring to your and your team?

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