HUMAN interaction and connections are the most important elements in ensuring successful business events, according to a report released as AIME draws near.
Nearly all the 200-plus buyers and exhibitors surveyed by show manager Talk2Media & Events ranked face-to-face meetings as the most valued part of trade events, with 48 per cent citing it as critical for business.
When asked about the rise of digital in the industry, the two biggest concerns lay in losing touch with human relationships (48%), followed by online communities replacing physical communities (26%).
The biggest barriers to business when attending an industry trade show were identified as a lack of quality buyers and exhibitors (33%), followed by insufficient networking opportunities (24%), poorly organised appointments and meetings (20%), lack of educational opportunities (13%) and poor timing of the industry event (10%).
The study also found that over 60 per cent of buyers and exhibitors continue to find face-to-face connections the most effective way to conduct business, followed by email (32%) and phone call (4%).
“This industry report provides real insight into what makes delegates tick – and is another way we’re continuing to listen to the community,” Matt Pearce, CEO of Talk2 Media & Events said.
“At AIME 2020, expect to be challenged both professionally and personally. We have sharpened our focus on creating more meaningful and human moments, with greater opportunities to drive positive business results.”
The study also found that the Asia Pacific region was critical (34%) to driving business growth, with 42% stating that the region had significant influence and only 16% stating it had partial influence.
When it came to the best time to place business, 37 per cent of buyers and exhibitors stated the first quarter (Jan-Mar) was most important, followed by 23 per cent for the third quarter (Jul-Sep), 25 per cent for the second (Apr-Jun) and 15 per cent for the fourth (Oct-Dec).
Of the more than 200 buyers and exhibitors surveyed, 87 per cent were from across the Asia Pacific region and the rest worldwide. The sample was asked to respond to how they regarded industry challenges and the most valued attributes of a travel trade show.
AIME 2020 is scheduled to run in Melbourne February 17-19. Final registrations can be made here.