Exhibition Industry Grew Modestly in Q3, Says CEIR Report

December 12, 2019

The exhibition industry continued to grow, albeit modestly, during the third quarter of 2019, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s quarterly exhibition index report. The CEIR Total Index, which measures exhibition industry performance, posted a year-over-year gain of 0.6 percent even though it underperformed the overall economy as reflected in the inflation-adjusted GDP.

While the trade show industry’s moderate third quarter performance proved to be weaker than the first two quarters of the year, it showed a slight improvement over the same quarter in 2018 when the industry registered an underwhelming year-over-year gain of 0.2 percent.

“The growth of the exhibition industry should pick up the pace moderately during the fourth quarter of the year through the first half of next year despite uncertainties surrounding trade negotiations with China and slowing world economic growth,” said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates.

CEIR

According to the report, industry sectors including communications and information technology; building, construction, home and repair; and food all registered robust year-over-year gains, while education; discretionary consumer goods and services; raw materials and science reported year-over-year declines.

All exhibition metrics in the third quarter demonstrated positive year-over-year gains except net square feet, which real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and exhibitors posted the largest increases of 1.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, expo attendance rose a mild 0.5 percent and net square feet dropped 0.3 percent.

“In line with the macroeconomy, the growth of the exhibition industry has continued but at a slower pace,” said Cathy Breden, CEO of CEIR. “The growth during the first three quarters indicates that the exhibition industry is on track to register a ninth consecutive year of growth, albeit slowing growth as was forecasted by our economist in the 2019 CEIR Index Report.”

 

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: