With a view to encompass changes to the reporting of attendance and marketing metrics across both trade and consumer shows, the Circulations Audit Board (CAB) has launched landmark new rules for the auditing of exhibitions.
The first major changes to exhibition auditing in more than six years, the new rules are the result of a comprehensive industry-led review of existing rules to bring them in line with current market needs.
Among the more significant changes is the introduction of the new core attendance metric of Unique Visitor Attendance (UVA) and new optional attendance categories for the calculation of total attendance.
The new mandatory metric for the exhibition industry to go to market with when promoting its verified attendance figures, UVA counts each visitor only once for the entire duration of an event regardless of the number of visits.
Previously the total attendance for trade shows was made up of single visits and re-visits, while consumer shows’ total attendance was calculated by combining paid and complimentary visits.
The new optional reporting categories for the calculation of total attendance include exhibitor staff, speakers, media and children.
CAB’s business development manager for Exhibitions, Margaret Crichton said the industry-led review had identified a definite need for independently audited exhibition data, but that quantitative data and basic demographics were not enough for today’s competitive media and events environment.
“Organisers want an event audit that does more than just count numbers. They want a service that adds value to their commercial activity and provides qualitative analysis that reflects brand reach beyond the physical event,” said Crichton.
“We also realised with the growth of consumer shows and changes in ticketing technology there was a lot of work needed to get the old rules up to date so the CAB audit is viable for both trade and consumer shows.”
The new exhibition audit service also introduces new optional reporting in the form of an Exhibition Marketing Report (EMR) to assist event organisers in providing a 360° view of engagement with an exhibition’s audience.
Coming into affect from today, the new rules replace the 2004 exhibition audit rules and guidelines and were developed with the Exhibition Audit Review (EAR) committee.
Established in June following a call for volunteers, the EAR committee was formed from representatives of the Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA).
CAB CEO Paul Dovas said the launch of the new rules reflected the CAB’s ongoing commitment to increase its services in the exhibition auditing arena.
“The exhibitions area represents a dynamic opportunity for credible, impartial auditing and the EAR committee has today delivered an auditing best practice that more accurately reflects the current and future exhibitions marketplace and adds value to the commercial activities of key stakeholders involved in the industry,” said Dovas.