Nearly a third of all surveyed business travelers (32 percent) place more importance on attending trade shows now than prior to September 11, 2001, according to a survey just released by eBrain Market Research.
The “Business Travel Survey” points out that with concerns over the US economy and safety on the rise, more than a quarter of companies surveyed (26 percent) currently are looking for alternatives to reduce overall business travel. Yet close to two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) are more likely to go on a business trip if it includes a relevant trade show.
According to the survey, trade shows rank higher in importance than all other business travel events besides client prospecting. Of note, 14 percent plan to increase travel to trade shows while only eight percent report they will increase travel to intra-company meetings and merely five percent increasing travel to conferences. “This study reinforces the importance of trade shows in today`s economy,” stated Todd Thibodeaux, eBrain COO. “Trade shows provide a multitude of options for business travelers in one convenient location. Companies can conduct client meetings and company-wide meetings, while allowing manufacturers to exhibit new products all in the same location. Trade shows are one of the most convenient ways to accomplish multiple business goals while reducing employers costs and minimizing employees business travel.”
Safety concerns do not solely account for the recent scale back in business travel. A third of respondents (33 percent) have reduced their business travel to conserve funds. Sixteen percent of business travelers are traveling less because meetings or conferences have been cancelled. In addition, 13 percent say that meetings or conferences that they would have attended now are being conducted by other means. The survey shows that companies as a whole place more importance on their employees` safety than do individual employees, yet cost continues to be the central issue. Seventy three percent of business travelers are reducing travel because their companies are scaling-back travel budgets. Also, 67 percent list the state of the economy as a reason for their company reducing travel. Half that many (33 percent) say safety concerns are a reason for travel reduction.
“The results of this survey prove that trade shows are more vital to the business community than ever before. It is significant that 16 percent of the companies surveyed indicated that they were shifting their sales focus to exhibitions rather than standard sales calls. Our research revealed that 88 percent of exhibition attendees had not been called on by a sales person in the last year. The research also concluded that using exhibitions can reduce sales cost by 62 percent. Given these statistics, it`s no wonder the leading companies are increasing their participation in exhibitions,” said Douglas L. Ducate, President and CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
The “Business Travel Survey” was designed and fielded by eBrain during the week of November 19, 2001 to a sample of 354 trade show attendees.
eBrain Market Research is a full-service research firm providing comprehensive, cost-efficient data solutions. eBrain strives to provide quality research at affordable prices by leveraging technology.