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Latest CEIR ROI Playbook Takes a Deep Dive on Attendee Goals Based on Gender

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
January 13, 2019
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DALLAS – Some subtle but distinct differences exist between men and women when it comes to their individual goals when attending a trade show, the newest report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) concluded.

While men tend to focus on exhibitors and the new products they are unveiling, women have a stronger desire for educational content and networking.

“There are a number of nuanced differences for organizers and exhibitors to pay attention to, and one ‘ah-ha’ for me is the importance of learning for women,” said Cathy Breden, CEO of CEIR.

The findings are part of the sixth installment of CEIR’s Attendee ROI Playbook, which can be found on the CEIR website The report, titled Gender Differences and Similarities, is the result of a survey of show organizers from various industry sectors.

“This document takes a deep-dive look at how gender influences what men and women strive to achieve at B2B exhibitions, how they navigate an event, and what they value the most,” said CEIR Senior Research Director, Nancy Drapeau.

The CEIR report looks at the gender question from multiple angles, including job titles of attendees, their objectives when attending a show, and their career level, which for women, CEIR said, can be affected by having to balance starting a career and a family at the same time. “Career stages are apt to vary for women over the course of their lifetime,” Breden said. “For younger women, learning is important to help advance their fledgling careers. For some women who are reentering the workforce after their children reach a certain age, it is a setting to jumpstart careers.”

Men, on the other hand, may have had a steadier career journey placing them in a position where trade shows are more focused on securing products that their company needs and maintaining relationships with existing vendors.

For show organizers, the data serves as a reminder that networking and career education are high priorities for a large chunk of their attendees. “We know that B-2-B exhibitions are a valued resource for both men and women to get the training they need for career success,” Breden said. “This research speaks to unique needs for women, that learning is important at a higher rate regardless of their age.”

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 687-9242; Nancy Drapeau at (972) 687-9242 or

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