Surveys completed over the past few years in the business-to-business (B2B) trade show events industry show why trade shows remain one of the most profitable B2B media strategies (source: Statista). The B2B events industry is worth billions of dollars in revenue and is only projected to increase in worth over the next few years. Trade shows give you the opportunity to promote your product or service to many potential customers or clients, build a community with your customer base, and generate leads for future business.  

Important Statistics in Trade Show Marketing

Global Statistics

  • The global revenue (in dollars) for the B2B events industry has gone up from 29.3 billion in 2015 to 30.3 billion in 2016- an increase of 1 billion in revenue.
  • In January 2018, the most commonly cited issue that the B2B events industry faces is the state of the economy in the home market.
  • As of October 2016, 50% of respondents from North America say the most effective marketing channel for promoting global events is email, and 40% of respondents from Asia agree.

U.S. Statistics

  • In 2016, print advertising brought 5.78 billion dollars in revenue to the B2B industry in the United States.
  • The B2B trade show market was worth 13.7 billion dollars in 2016 and it is forecasted to grow to be worth 16.8 billion dollars by 2021.
  • Projections show that the revenue of convention and trade show organizers in the US will be approximately 15.6 billion dollars by 2022.
  • In 2017, 49% of the total revenue on average in large B2B events came from registration. 24% of the total revenue was from exhibit sales.

Exhibitor Statistics

  • In November 2016, 26% of respondents who owned small to medium enterprises (SME) were using trade shows as part of their marketing strategies.
  • From 2016 to 2017, 39% of respondents reported an increase in the number of exhibitors at the largest trade shows and exhibitions in the US.
  • As of May 2017, 75% of respondents saw smaller trade shows as a better opportunity to connect to customers than a larger global trade show.
  • As of May 2017, 45% of respondents were disappointed with their experience at a larger global trade show due to not getting the right spot on the conference floor.

ROI Statistics

  • 21% of responding marketers in 2016 said they measured their ROI by the number of attendees that attended the event.
  • Out of the B2B event organizers that responded in 2017, 61% said that trade show and exhibit sponsorship sales grew.
  • 11% of respondents in 2017 said they expected an increase of trade show profits by more than 15%.

Strategy and Effectiveness Statistics

  • As of September 2017, 29% of B2B marketers said that lead generation was the leading reason why they were using event marketing. 28% of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers said that the leading reason why they were using event marketing was for community building.
  • In April 2017, 68% of respondents used in-house event planners to manage in-person events.
  • As of May 2017, 78% of respondents said that using social media marketing during trade shows helped them to keep track of spontaneous show moments.

Attendee Statistics

  • In 2017, 59% of responding global trade event attendees said that they learn about new events from email newsletters.
  • According to 30% of responding acquisition and attendee marketers, social media was very effective in attracting new attendees.
  • In 2016, 74% of respondents said that they were more likely to purchase a product that was promoted in a branded event.
  • 57% of responding US consumers purchased a product or service at an event because they gained a better understanding of the product/service from the event.