Visa Issues: What's Being Done to Ease Restrictions?
The Economic Impact of International Non-Participation in the Exhibition Industry Due to US Visa Issues Center for Exhibition Industry Research study performed by Oxford Economics and Synovate TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
SURVEY INFORMATIONOxford Economics and Synovate, with input from CEIR, designed andfielded a survey of business-to-business exhibition organizers for 200US-based exhibitions. The study was conducted with the support ofseveral organizations, including USTA.Detailed event characteristics were gathered from 47 events (a 24%response rate). The survey requested specific figures and ranges whichhave been analyzed to assess the importance of international marketsto exhibitions and, in turn, to the US economy. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
KEY FACTS•Visa barriers preclude 2.5% of potential international attendees fromparticipating in trade shows and exhibitions.•Average spending by each international buyer and attendee exceeded$13,600. Average spending by an international exhibitor was greaterthan $36,100.•Without visa barriers, total business sales at these exhibitions wouldincrease $2.6 billion. Business sales to U.S. companies would increase$2.4 billion from the incremental attendance of international exhibitorsand attendees.•This potential international participation would increase the foreigntrade associated with exhibitions by 14%. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
KEY SURVEY RESULTS•90% of events draw visitors from outside the US.•Direct marketing per event reached an average of more than 3,500people in countries requiring a US visitor visa.•Average marketing efforts in visa waiver regions reached 15,500people.•The average show attracted 2,600 participants from visa waivercountries. In total, surveyed events attracted more than 100,000participants from countries with visa waiver status. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
Key Survey Results continued…•The average exhibition attracted 1,550 participants from countrieswhose visitors require a visa.•32,728 buyers/non-exhibitor participants came from the top 20countries whose visitors need a visa to enter the US.•Brazil and China were the top two countries of origin from visa-required markets, together accounting for approximately 41% of theattendance from these countries. Other significant countries of origininclude India, Colombia and Taiwan.•Among the exhibitions surveyed, more than 8,500 exhibitors camefrom visa-required countries. The majority of exhibitors came fromChina with just over half of the 8,510 exhibitors from these markets. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
IMPACT OF VISA ISSUES ON SHOWS•8,400 attendees/buyers (3.1% of the totalattendance of those shows) could notparticipate in events surveyed because of visa issues.•In addition, 2,142 exhibitors (1.3% of all exhibitors) were not able toattend 15 events that responded due to visa problems in attendingthose shows.•Six events surveyed said they would see a 1% to 5% increase ininternational attendance without visa impediments. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
IMTS CASE STUDY For IMTS 2010, there were a total of 378 people who interviewed at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and Consulates in other cities in China for their visas to enter the U.S., of which 64 people were rejected. Among the people who were able to obtain a visa, 23 people obtained their visas through “SAO” systems which took much longer. Five people from two exhibitors –Tengzhou Zhongtai Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd. and Shandong Taifeng Baoyuan Numerical Control Machine were rejected. These companies had paid the booth and registration fees, and shipped their machines to the IMTS. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.
CONCLUSIONSEasing access to US exhibitions and trade shows for internationalattendees and exhibitors will create significant business sales, stimulateeconomic growth and improve the opportunities for US companies toconduct business in the global marketplace. TSNN Event Excellence Awards November 4-6, 2011. Washington D.C.