Industry leaders support new expo audit rules

Sexpo, Reed Exhibitions and Australian Exhibitions & Conferences are among the major exhibitions and exhibition organisers to throw their support behind landmark new rules for the auditing of exhibitions

Sexpo, Reed Exhibitions and Australian Exhibitions & Conferences (AEC) are among the major exhibitions and exhibition organisers to throw their support behind landmark new rules for the auditing of exhibitions, the Circulations Audit Board (CAB) has announced.

Australia’s exhibition and event industry has been quick to embrace the new rules, with leading adult lifestyle exhibition Sexpo signing up to be audited for the first time in 2012.

General manager, Rob Godwin said Sexpo was pleased to be one of the first public exhibitions to incorporate the new exhibition audit service.

“It is vital for the ongoing success of our show, and public exhibitions in general, to be able to show credible data and results to encourage participation from sponsors, exhibitors and the general public,” said Godwin.

Launched in November, the CAB’s new rules encompass changes to the reporting of attendance and marketing metrics across both trade and consumer exhibitions.

The first major changes to exhibition auditing in more than six years, the rules include the new core attendance metric of Unique Visitor Attendance (UVA) which 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 total attendance for consumer exhibitions was calculated by combining paid and complimentary visits.

Australia’s leading exhibition organisers have also welcomed the new rules with AEC, Reed Exhibitions, Exibit, Diversified Exhibitions Australia, XPO Exhibitions (New Zealand), and Exhibitions and Events Australia all committing to having events audited in 2012.

“We feel it is important to ensure there are guidelines for the attendance verification of all events in the industry and strongly support the introduction of Unique Visitor Attendance. The challenge is ensuring all organisers adopt this metric so there is one benchmark and a level playing field. It is imperative to have quality and content standards to stop events that are not audited counting irrelevant visitors including guests, spouses and staff as attendance,” said Sally Cutler, marketing manager, Australian Exhibitions & Conferences.

Managing director of Reed Exhibitions, Debbie Evans said the new rules better reflect the current needs of the exhibitions market.

“Today’s exhibition organisers want an audit that does more than merely count numbers, providing qualitative analysis and adding value to their commercial activity, and the CAB’s enhanced audit process delivers in this regard,” said Evans.

Developed following a comprehensive industry-led review, the new auditing rules have also been welcomed by the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA).

“We actively use the CAB audit data to substantiate our claims about the value and performance of the exhibition sector in Australia. Independent audits give us the credible evidence we need to build a stronger voice for the exhibition and events industry and we commend the CAB for its work in delivering an enhanced audit process,” said Joyce DiMascio, general manager of the EEAA.

CAB chief executive Paul Dovas said he hoped the support of leading exhibition organisers and industry associations would encourage other organisers to commit to the new exhibition audit process.

“These leaders of industry are to be congratulated for their commitment to the audit process and we challenge others to follow their lead. The exhibitions arena represents a dynamic opportunity for credible, impartial auditing and we have worked with the industry to deliver an auditing best practice that meets the needs of today’s exhibitions marketplace,” said Dovas.

For further information on the new rules for exhibition auditing click here.  

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