Meeting professionals who plan trade shows know that when a key exhibitor pulls out of an exhibition, the impact can be significant. A new study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research examines why some market leaders are being lured away from exhibiting and provides best practices for managing key exhibitor relationships.

The study, funded by the Professional Convention Management Association Education Foundation, stresses the need for meeting professionals to “make a fundamental shift in thinking in order to preserve relationships with key exhibitors and market leaders and advance the exhibition industry into the next decade.”

“No matter where you hold your show, what industry you’re in, or how small or large your event is, this report shows that everyone is seeing bigger exhibitors looking for more influence,” said Doug Ducate, CEIR president and CEO in a statement. “Our goal was to show how some exhibition organizers have dealt with this—both successfully and unsuccessfully—and provide a roadmap for addressing the issue.”

Tips and best practices for managing exhibitor relationships under this changing landscape include:

  • Allowing market leaders to invest in trade shows without exhibiting,
  • Collaborating with exhibitors on corporate exhibitions, and
  • Aligning goals of exhibitors with goals of exhibition organizers, among others.

For a full copy of the study Managing the Special Needs of Key Exhibitors and Market Leaders, click here. The report is free to PCMA and CEIR members and available at a cost of $160 for non-members.

The PCMA Education Foundation’s next research endeavor will be a study from CEIR on the development of a return on investment calculator for meetings and trade shows. The report is due out by the end of this year.