The quality of attendees is by far the most important factor to exhibitors when deciding whether to exhibit at a trade show or exhibition, according to a new study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

The study found that 84 percent of marketing executives surveyed cited attendance quality as the most prevalent factor driving the decision to exhibit. “Results to this study indicate that an exhibition’s reputation for delivering quality attendance is the most influential factor in persuading a company to exhibit,” stated CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau. “In a business climate where resources are scarce, exhibition organizers are wise to allocate some of these resources to audience acquisition and retention efforts,” she added. “Bringing the right audience to exhibitors and the right content to attendees that keeps them coming back positions an event for stability and growth.”

Favorable return on investment (54 percent) and positive past performance (50 percent) were listed as the next most prevalent factors.

The study is part of CEIR’s Changing Environment of Exhibitions Study, a research project that will look at various aspects of the industry.