Face-to-face interaction still vital

AUSTRALIA Exhibitions and events remain an effective marketing channel for Australian companies seeking to promote their brands, products and services, according to the inaugural Market Monitor released recently by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA). The group represents organisers, venues and suppliers.

"The surprising outcome is the number of the new shows. It demonstrates that exhibitions and events continue to be vital channels in the marketing mix," said Joyce DiMascio, EEAA general manager. "Bringing people together face-to-face is a powerful foundation and point of difference for our industry."

Conducted by Micromex Research covering the second half of 2011, the EEAA Market Monitor found member venues hosted 92 new events, representing 29 per cent of the 316 shows hosted during the six-month period. Furthermore, more than half of the event organisers surveyed are  presenting new events this year. In fact, 12 new shows are expected to be launched in 2012.

"The live 'experience-based event is alive and well, and our industry is cautiously optimistic about the future prospects. Almost a million people came through the doors of these events in a sixth month period – this is a strong figure," DiMascio said.

In the final half of 2011, EEAA event-organiser members organised 69 shows, with 11,278 exhibitors participating and approximately 940,000 people attending. Of these, 49 per cent of trade events had a paid conference or seminar programme alongside them, compared with 16 per cent at consumer events.

"This demonstrates that exhibitions are an important component of an event mix especially for association meetings. It also shows that exhibition organisers are increasingly including conferences and seminars as part of their events," she added.

Majority of the events surveyed for the EEAA Market Monitor targeted the domestic market.

"This points to the enormous opportunity for Australian organisers to grow exhibitors and visitors from international markets, especially from fast-growing markets of Asia," DiMascio noted. "This is the potential that could be explored."

The EEAA Market Monitor will be conducted on a bi-annual basis.


Gigi Onag


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