25 Aug 2016

Survey Finds Event Organizers Expect Growth in 2017

The results of a recent survey by Exhibit Surveys Inc. and Lippman Connects indicate the majority of event organizers are bullish when it comes to 2017 predictions. Conducted in conjunction with the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF), a Lippman Connects event, the ECEF Pulse survey found that at least 58 percent of the 233 responding executives expect next year will yield increases in event attendance, the number of exhibiting companies, net square footage of exhibit space, and sponsorship sales.

[Exhibition & Convention Executive Forum (ECEF) Pulse Survey] Participants were particularly confident regarding growth in the number of exhibiting companies, with 68 percent expecting an uptick of exhibitors participating in 2017 shows. Similarly, 64 percent of respondents anticipate an increase in net exhibit-hall square footage, followed by 58 percent who predict heightened attendance. Finally, mirroring last year’s ECEF Pulse survey results, six in 10 organizers expect to see rising profits in 2017.

Other findings indicate that a majority of event organizers (53 percent) have increased spending for attendee promotion and marketing, while only 2 percent decreased their budget for that line item. Furthermore, the increases reported are relatively sizable, with 27 percent of organizers increasing spending by 11 percent or more, up from only 19 percent last year. And it appears that virtual or digital event extensions are on the decline, as only 20 percent of participating organizers reported having a digital extension of their physical events, which is down from 27 percent last year — and only 9 percent plan to offer a virtual extension of next year’s iteration of their events.

To view a complimentary executive summary of the survey results (PDF), visit