Trade Show Industry Sees Q1 1.6 Percent Growth Uptick

June 5, 2017

The trade show industry was back on the positive side after slipping in the final quarter of 2016, with a year-over-year 1.6-percent uptick in growth to kick off the first quarter of this year, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s Index Report.

However, the industry has continued to underperform the macroeconomy.

"The increase in the first quarter validates our prediction that economic fundamentals still point to moderate growth for the exhibition industry," said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

The Food; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Communications and Information Technology; and Government sectors registered robust year-over-year gains.

In sharp contrast, Education and Non-profit; Consumer Goods and Retail Trade; and Business Services posted year-over-year declines. Raw Materials and Science, which was the weakest sector in 2016, has started to stabilize as attendance rebounded sharply.

“I am pleased to see attendance rebound in Q1 and am optimistic both attendance and the CEIR Total Index will continue to grow, despite uncertainty in the marketplace,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE.

Here are just two first-quarter highlights:

International Roofing Expo, owned and operated by Informa Exhibitions, drew 11,273 commercial and residential roofing construction professionals and 476 exhibitors, spanning a 131,700 square foot showfloor. The show was held March 1-3 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The 2017 triennial CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE show spanned a record 2.8 million-plus net square feet of exhibits, with a record 2,800-plus exhibitors from the leading U.S. and global manufacturers, from multinational giants to small firms with specialized products. The show was held in March in Las Vegas.

The CEIR Index Report was developed to provide an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry. The CEIR Index Report measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics including:

· Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold

· Professional Attendance

· Number of Exhibiting Companies

· Total Event Gross Revenue

In addition to providing percentage changes for each metric year-over-year going back to 2013, the full report provides readers with forecasts for 2017 through 2019.

Additionally, market size estimates for number of exhibitors, number of attendees, total net square footage and event gross revenue are reported for the exhibition industry overall as well as for each of the 14 sectors tracked in this report.

 Click here for more information on the CEIR Index Report.

Predict: CEIR’s Annual Outlook Conference will be held Sept. 14-15 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. The event provides an outlook on the global economy and the exhibition industry’s performance. Visit for more details.

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