Low exhibitor advocacy is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry globally, according to a report released by UFI The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in partnership with event research specialists Explori focusing on exhibiting companies around the globe.

The report delivers key findings related to exhibitors’ behaviour, their levels of loyalty to and advocacy of the industry, their needs and, the extent to which these needs are being met by the industry:

  • Exhibitor advocacy is low across the globe: only 25 per cent of shows have a positive Net Promoter Score (NPS). Globally, exhibitors rate the exhibitions they attend with a negative average NPS of -17.
  • More than one-third of global exhibitors declare low levels of satisfaction with exhibitions they book, but show a high level of loyalty towards the respective show. This group of exhibitors is understood to be open to defecting to competing channels.
  • Shows with high exhibitor NPS are more likely to experience growth: 71 per cent of shows with positive NPS are experiencing growth in exhibitor numbers whereas only 32 per cent of shows with negative exhibitor NPS do. In addition, more than twice as many high NPS shows are experiencing notable revenue growth when compared to low NPS shows.
  • Exhibitions that offered exhibitor training to all, or most, saw a 23 point boost in NPS vs shows that did not provide this service. This suggests that educational offers for exhibitors are a promising reaction to poor NPS scores.

And a proper newness strategy also boosts exhibitor satisfaction: shows that actively promote newness have notably higher exhibitor satisfaction score than shows that do not: 3.71 vs 3.35 (out of 5).

A summary of the research is available at www.ufi.org/research. The full report is available to UFI members in the UFI Members’ area of the ufi.orgwebsite.

The findings are based on survey data collected from visitors and exhibitors via Explori’s dedicated research platform. In total, 1,040 trade shows from over 40 countries have conducted postshow research through Explori. The findings also derive from in-depth interviews conducted with 57 trade show directors from 17 different countries.

The research is also supported by The Society of Independent Show Organizers (US).