by Simon Clayton, chief ideas officer, RefTech
The Editor’s Note in the October issue of Conference News discussed exhibitions and whether unaudited figures can be believed. It “wondered whether the venues and registration system suppliers complicit in the release of dubious unaudited attendance figures are really doing themselves any good by such association”.
As an event registration supplier I feel somewhat compelled to comment.
A supplier may be employed by an organiser to perform the registration of an event, but they are simply a supplier and not an auditor.
The data a registration company supplies to the organiser is confidential – so how can anyone hold a supplier responsible for the claims then made by an organiser post-event? They are certainly not ‘complicit’ if an organiser then chooses to announce exaggerated figures.
I agree that “if visitors are prepared to give their time and money to attend an industry event, the least they deserve is some effort on the organiser’s part to deliver proper event statistics on event attendance”, but do I agree that the responsibility lies with the supplier?
Some of the shows we supply registration to are audited, and some are not. But what our client chooses to do with their data is up to them – mainly because it is just that, their data.
A supplier cannot insist that they are audited or even truthful when it comes to announcing their attendance figures.