7 in 10 Marketers Travel to Domestic Events

August 24, 2011

pcma-trade-show-attendence-aug11.gifAbout a combined seven in 10 (68%) US marketing and event professionals travel to at least one domestic event a year, according to [pdf] a study conducted in May 2011 by The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), UBM Studios, and the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI). Data from “Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events” indicates 48% of respondents travel to one to two domestic events a year, while 16% travel to three to four a year and 16% travel to five or more a year.

In addition, 83% of marketing and event professionals travel to at least one event in their own city/driving area per year, with 47% attending one to two, 20% three to four, and 16% five or more. Furthermore, 28% travel to at least one international event a year, with 20% traveling to one to two and 4% each traveling to three to four and five or more.

Most Will Keep Event Travel the Same

For event travel within respondents’ city/driving area, 78% will keep their level of travel the same in the coming 12 months, while 16% plan to increase it and 6% plan less local travel. Meanwhile, about seven in 10 respondents plans to keep their level of travel both domestically (70%) and internationally (69%) the same in the next 12 months. Sixteen percent plan more domestic travel and 14% plan less, while 11% plan more international travel and 20% plan less.

Reading Online Content Most Important Post-Event

The highest percentage of respondents (56%) say it is very important to review online content associated with an event program or activity after the activity, compared with 32% who say it is very important during the event and 30% who say it is very important before the event. Only 5% say it is not important after the event, compared to 22% who say it is not important during and 17% who say it is not important before.

Seeing What’s New Top Motivator for In-person Exhibits

When asked for main motivations in visiting the exhibit halls of in-person events (more than one answer allowed), the highest percentage of respondents (70%) said seeing what’s new will motivate them. This was about 56% higher than the 45% of respondents who said either getting company, product or solution information or talking to someone with expertise in a subject will motivate them. These were closely followed by seeing a demo or product (44%).

Exhibitors Want to Build Awareness, Biz

virtualedge-tradeshow-exhibitor-motivation-aug-2011.JPGBrand and product awareness (68%) and new business development (65%) were the top motivators for exhibitors at in-person events. Closely following were educating the market on products/solutions (62%).

Other popular motivators included new lead generation (57%) and thought leadership. Exhibitors are mostly motivated by longer-term and softer goals, as only 25% cited immediate sales.

Amex: Corporate Travel Up

Overall airline spending increased the most of any travel category tracked by American Express Business Insights (8.4%) in Q1 2011 compared to Q1 2010, fueled by a 14% surge in corporate airline spending. Meanwhile, car rentals showed minimal change across all segments, with corporate spend increasing the most at 2.2%.

About the Data: The survey was conducted amongst 479 North American respondents during May 2011, with two iPads as an incentive. Before commencing the survey, respondents reviewed the definition of a virtual engagement in written form and had the option of viewing a short video demonstrating several examples of virtual environments.

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