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by Loren G. Edelstein | August 22, 2012

Nearly half (48 percent) of attendees said face-to-face interactions at exhibitions, conventions and annual meetings are more valuable today than they were two years ago, and 43 percent expect such gatherings will be even more important over the next two years, according to a new report by the Center for Exhibition Research. This report is the second in a series to be released over the next quarter from the CEIR study, "The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction." The top two face-to-face activities that have increased in value among most exhibitors are sales calls, and exhibitions and conventions. According to CEIR research director Nancy Drapeau, "This second report provides detail on the strength of the value attendees and exhibitors place on exhibitions compared to alternatives, and results point to exhibitions enjoying high value ratings among both audiences. This report also affirms that exhibition activity is vulnerable to economic downswings, though other findings in the study -- as well as other CEIR research -- point to a positive outlook moving forward. Online digital activity has minimal impact." More than 9,000 attendees and 800 exhibitors are participating in the study. The report is free to CEIR members and $49 for nonmembers; go to here.