2018 Attendee Acquisition Statistics and Benchmark Data

A potential attendee sees one of your event promotions, takes an action to learn more about your event – and if the stars are aligned just right – decides to register for your event.

It happens hundreds of thousands of times a day, all across the world, for all kinds of events from small conferences to large industry trade shows and exhibitions.

But while it’s common, we all know attendee acquisition isn’t anywhere that simple. There are many, many factors involved that influence an attendee’s decision to attend an event – everything from the education/content, networking opportunities, location, cost and even who else is coming. And with so many more promotional channels today, it’s a challenge to plan an attendee acquisition and promotion strategy that will reach potential attendees where they’re most likely to see it.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of key statistics and benchmark data as a helpful resource for planning your attendee acquisition and promotion strategy.

What Do Organizers Spend on Attendee Promotion?

While every event and audience is different, findings reveal:

As a whole, event organizers are increasing spend on attendee promotion and marketing3:

What Are the Biggest Planning Challenges?

Specifically, the two top attendee acquisition challenges are5:

What Are the Most Effective Marketing Channels for Promoting Events?

While all events use e-mail marketing, digital and social marketing methods, these are the channels proven to be the most effective4:

And it’s interesting to note promotion trends for large shows, who are planning to increase spend in2:

Getting attendees to events is no longer “if you build it, they will come.” New acquisition strategies and promotion channels are just one small part of all those factors influencing attendees’ decisions to attend.

Contact us for a demo to learn how to boost your attendee acquisition and promotion strategy with social referral marketing.


1 2016 Benchmarks & Trends in Attendee Acquisition, Exhibit Surveys and Lippman Connects

2 IAEE Attendee Acquisition presentation, Sam Lippman and Margaret Core

3 Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) Pulse survey

4 Cvent Global Event Industry Benchmarks Study

5 New Attendee Acquisition Benchmarks & Practices, Exhibit Surveys and Lippman Connects

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