Connect 24/7/365 or Expect Competition
In the most recent ECEF (Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum) Pulse survey, conducted annually by Freeman and Lippman Connects, 24/7/365 platforms are considered to be the most disruptive new technology by event industry executives.
The adoption of digital platforms is also trending up every year. 42% of survey respondents currently include or plan to include a digital extension of their event, comparing to 34% in 2015 and 39% in 2017.
Top reasons for adding or considering a digital extension includes:
- Increasing year-round engagement with audience
- Strengthen event’s brand
Other reasons include:
- Offer event’s content to prospects that can’t attend the physical event
- Increase the number of attendees at future physical events
- New revenue from virtual booths and sponsorships
- Increase booth sales at future physical events
Among the reasons, the most noteworthy shifts comparing to last year are audience engagement (UP from 33% to 74%), and new revenue (DOWN from 44% to 18%). It implies that the industry is driven by the strategic imperative to adopt year-round digital platform to keep their audience engaged, but is not expecting such a platform to be a major new revenue generator yet, or is deliberately putting revenue from the new platform at a lower priority.
The key take-away from this report is that adopting a digital extension platform should be on top of mind for trade show executives. Connect 24/7/365 or expect competition!
The full-length Pulse survey report is only available to ECEF attendees. You can check out this summary video published by Lippman: 5 Key Data Points in 5 Minutes: ECEF Pulse 2019 Summary.