The Circulations Audit Board (CAB) has launched the first major review of its exhibition audit rules and guidelines in more than six years, forming a committee of industry leaders to review the existing rules and bring them in line with current market needs.
Meeting for the first time last week, the Exhibition Audit Review (EAR) committee has been tasked with developing an objective best-practice audit and reporting standard reflecting the needs of stakeholders operating in the exhibition environment for launch in October.
The first key project of newly appointed CAB Business Development Manager, Margaret Crichton, the new Exhibition Audit Reporting Standard (EARS) will replace the 2004 exhibition audit rules and guidelines.
“The framework of the current rules was created 15 years ago. There have been minor reviews along the way, but this time we are going back to the drawing board to determine the needs of today’s exhibition market,” said Crichton.
The exhibition audit is for event professionals who organise exhibitions and verifies show attendance, commercial and geographic demographics, and other vital statistics for both trade and consumer shows.
Crichton said changes in the industry, such as advances in technology, reflected the need for an overhaul of the current rules, and the complex and competitive business created by the proliferation of new marketing channels had further increased the need for impartial and verified marketing data.
“Decision makers are asking sales and media channels to be more accountable than ever and this includes exhibition organisers publishing attendance figures and demographics as part of their event promotion. It’s also the mark of a mature industry that performance indicators reliably reflect the power of its medium and a form of industry self-regulation to ensure the overall quality of events is maintained,” she said.
The EAR committee was formed from representatives of Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) organiser members, following a call for volunteers in May.
The committee members are: Harvey Stockbridge, Australian Exhibitions and Conferences; Rob Godwin, Sexpo; Greg Rocke, Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expo; Rodney Cox, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs; Simon Cooper, Interpoint; Peter Versluis, Exibit Exhibitions; Jane Ford, Exhibitions and Events Australia; Domenic Genua, Boating Industry Association of NSW; Jon Perry, Diversified Exhibitions Australia; and Debbie Evans, Reed Exhibitions.
CAB CEO Paul Dovas said the formation of the committee and launch of the review process was part of an ongoing commitment from the CAB to increase its services in the exhibition auditing arena.
“There is an ever-growing need and opportunity for reliable metrics in the exhibitions industry and in the EAR committee, we have the knowledge and experience to develop an auditing best practice that more accurately reflects the current and future exhibitions marketplace, as well as value adding to the commercial activities of key stakeholders involved in the industry,” said Dovas.