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Exhibitions are still a Powerful Marketing Medium

According to recent research conducted by US-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), exhibitions take the lead against other forms of marketing.

This also holds true in South Africa, according to informal feedback from visitors and exhibitors at its major expos.

Impressive returns

“Exhibitions are finding a strong niche in marketing budgets because of the quantifiable and invariably impressive returns they offer exhibitors.

CEIR’s global research also shows that 58% of visitors attend exhibitions for the hands-on interaction with the products, while 51% of exhibitors choose exhibitions because of the face-to-face interaction.

“Exhibitions are the ideal platform for interaction, enabling in-depth discussions in generally informal settings.

Research shows that the majority of visitors to an exhibition arrive with an agenda, making personal contact that much more valuable,” says Gary Corin, MD of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, organisers of Hostex Joburg and Hostex Cape.

The CEIR research also states that 87% of exhibition attendees say they will share information obtained at exhibitions with their immediate superiors, and that 48% of exhibition leads do not require a sales call to close the deal – thus bringing down costs significantly.

According to CEIR, exhibition leads cost 56% less to close than field sales calls.

Corin says that next year’s Hostex – to be held at Sandton Convention Centre from 15-18 March 2015 – is leveraging the recognised benefits of exhibitions to both exhibitors and visitors by ensuring the platform for interaction is as comfortable and user-friendly as possible, with added value for all participants at the exhibition.

New elements

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI (Union of International Fairs), says, “Studies have shown that exhibitions are among the top three most powerful and cost effective forms of marketing.

Among today’s vast range of communication tools, no other media generates more sales leads than exhibitions.

By engaging with your buyers using all five senses, exhibitions can transform your business locally and internationally.”

Hostex will again be featuring the popular visitor attractions of the Global Pizza Challenge, the Barista Championship hosted by the Speciality Coffee Association of Southern Africa, celebrity chefs and members of the Culinary Team South Africa at the SA Chefs Village and the successful Host-ED free-to-attend seminar, which promises to offer a line-up of hot topics by leading industry experts.

For more information, go to www.hostex.co.za

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