The challenge for TV (or what we call TV) is not what everyone thinks and it’s a big win for the exhibition industry.

According to TeleScope and contrary to popular belief, people are watching more TV than ever before … it’s just that we watch it in a different way.

  • Different devices.
  • Multiple devices.
  • Scheduled viewing.

The list goes on.

No, the real challenge for TV is the rising cost of the consumers’ attention and the problem is exacerbated for the TV networks that rely on the traditional advertising model because the stale format of 30-second ads doesn’t sit well with technology.

In the late 1980s practically everyone viewed TV ads, twenty years later and only 1 in 5 people watch TV ads preferring to fast forward or channel skip instead.

Apparently the only format that has put up a spirited stand is live TV which is probably why the recent battle between Sky and BT Sport for the Premier League live rights saw a jump of 70% to £5.1bn – or £10.2 million per match.

But what does this mean for exhibitions?

TV and digital companies measure audience attention in seconds whilst exhibitions can literally measure their audience attention in hours and that means we are in a good position if we can get access to the right metrics.

A lot of organisers put emphasis on visitor levels, visitor increases, exhibitor rebook, sqm etc etc. but the clever ones are pushing out probably the most important one of all – dwell time.

Dwell time indicates the level of engagement of the visitors for the exhibition and more importantly, the exhibitors.

Following it through, and with the lessons of the second screen engagement of TV, this dwell time can significantly amplify the value of the exhibition for the exhibitor in terms of sales, relationships and business.

Interestingly, shopping centres focus heavily on dwell time because they discovered that for each 1% increase in dwell time, sales in the shops increased by 1.3%.

People spend more the longer they hang around.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could determine similar sales connections to exhibitions which is almost identical to the shopping centre whether that is in sales, leads or enquiries?

Another interesting connection is diminishing dwell times during periods of high footfall at shopping centres.

This is going to break some hearts but people don’t like crowded environments. It’s common sense but is often missed as we strive for bustling aisles and seek comfort in queues.

Overall though the exhibition industry’s ability to boast attention levels in hours and not seconds is great news and one that we should be shouting about but what is the average dwell time for an exhibition?



Jim heads up Exhibitor Smarts, which is a newly created specialist agency working alongside organisers and suppliers to ensure that exhibitors engage, grow and return.

If you want more information about the Exhibitor Smarts please visit our website atwww.exhibitorsmarts.com

For exhibiting tips and chats follow Exhibitor Smarts on twitter: @exhibitorsmarts


Image thanks to www.screenrant.com – cheers guys!


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