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Face-to-face meetings ‘critical’ for almost half of event professionals

Almost half of business event delegates say face-to-face meetings are ‘critical’, according to a new study.

Trade show AIME (Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event), has unveiled a new report that shows 93 per cent of business event delegates find human interaction and connections important across business events, with 48 per cent declaring them to be critical.

The new study, conducted by Talk2 Media & Events in the lead-up to AIME 2020, surveyed more than 200 buyers and exhibitors from across the Asia Pacific region (87 per cent) and wider world (13 per cent) – looking at industry challenges and the most valued attributes.

The study revealed that the biggest barriers to business when attending an industry trade show were lack of quality buyers and exhibitors (33 per cent), followed by insufficient networking opportunities (24 per cent), poorly organised appointments and meetings (20 per cent), lack of educational opportunities (13 per cent) and poor timing of the industry event (10 per cent).

The study also found that over 60 per cent of buyers and exhibitors continue to find face-to-face connections the most effective way to conduct business, followed by email (32 per cent) and phone call (4 per cent).

When asked about the rise of digital in the industry, the two biggest concerns lay in losing touch with human relationships (48 per cent), followed by online communities replacing physical communities (26 per cent).

Furthermore, it was also revealed that the Asia Pacific region was critical (34 per cent) to driving business growth, with 42 per cent stating that the region had significant influence and only 16 per cent stating it had partial influence.

When it came to the best time to place business, 37 per cent of buyers and exhibitors stated the first quarter (Jan–Mar) was most important, followed by 23 per cent for the third quarter (Jul–Sep), 25 per cent for the second (Apr–Jun) and 15 per cent for the fourth (Oct–Dec).

AIME is scheduled to run in Melbourne on 17–19 February 2020.