11 reasons why trade shows are more relevant than ever in the digital age

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Since 1978, PATA Travel Mart has established a powerful reputation as one of the Association’s signature trade shows that attracts buyers, sellers, and delegates from all over the world. Throughout more than four decades of this event, it’s connected thousands of tourism professionals and facilitated countless business deals for members and partners.

In light of the quickly digitising world, we sometimes get asked whether trade shows are still relevant. Understandably, today’s methods of telecommunication makes it easier than ever to interact with people; however, this is not a substitute for face-to-face meetings.

To illustrate, we’ve borrowed some words from Bizzabo’s whitepaper, “Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends”:

“The internet is not and will never be enough. People crave in-person experiences. The opportunity to travel somewhere else, meet someone new, learn something different is an irreplaceable experience – and the good news is that it’s growing.”

– Bizzabo


Take a look at 11 compelling statistics about industry exhibitions and live events:


1: 80% of organisers believe that live events are an important part of success. In addition, in-person events were identified as the single most effective marketing channel (31%) over digital advertising, email marketing, and content marketing. (Source: Bizzabo)

2: 81% of attendees at trade shows have buying authority, which means at least four out of five people you meet at your next exhibition could be a potential customer. (Source: Trade Show News Network)

3: This is compounded by the finding that 46% of trade show attendees hold positions in the executive or upper management level. This means direct access to the top decision makers of nearly half of the organisations in attendance. (Source: Trade Show News Network)

4: 91% of businesses that have surpassed their organisational goals believe that live events are an important component of their success. In addition, they also plan to increase their next year’s event marketing budget by a higher amount than businesses that are underperforming or performing as expected. One explanation is that overperforming companies are more likely to use event technology to maximise and measure results, leading to a virtuous cycle of commitment and policies that help keep events successful. (Source: Bizzabo)

5: Used by 81% of respondents in their company’s marketing strategies, in-person events were determined to be the most effective form of business-to-business content marketing. (Source: Event Manager Blog)

6: Leads generated through an exhibition will require an average of 3.5 sales calls to close; this compares favourably against the average of 4.5 sales calls to close a typical sale not generated through an exhibition lead. (Source: Display Wizard)

7: The cost of meeting a prospective client at their office is $259 while the cost of meeting a prospect at a trade show is $142. In addition, 65% of exhibitors attend trade shows so that they can visit existing clients and reestablish relationships. Attending an exhibition can be a simple and cost effective way to meet face-to-face with both potential and existing clients. (Source: SpinGo)

8: 78% of attendees travel more than 645 kilometers (400 miles) to attend an event, which means you have access to brand new international markets. (Source: Trade Show News Network)

9: 77% of executive decision makers found at least one new supplier from the last show they attended. This means that your competitors will close the deals at the events you don’t attend! (Source: SpinGo)

10: Over 50% of attendees at an event are there for the first time, which means that it’s worthwhile to attend the show each year to meet with new prospective clients. (Source: SpinGo)

11: Trade exhibitions are a great place to increase your company’s brand awareness, engage with highly targeted buyers, learn what competitors are doing, build new business relationships, and keep up to date with the latest technology and developments – all in one place! (Source: Evo Exhibits)

In addition to taking place at a different host destination each year, a key benefit of attending PATA Travel Mart as a buyer or seller is the pre-matched appointments. PATA’s unique software will connect you with those who are the most likely to help grow your business! With more than 10,000 pre-matched appointments taking place over two full days, your time is sure to be maximised! However, pre-matching ends June 30 so act fast!



Curious about how pre-matched appointments work? Take a look at our infographic >>


Register now for PATA Travel Mart >>