Trade Show Industry Continues to Grow 1.6 Percent in Q2 2018

September 7, 2018

The trade show industry continues to modestly grow into the second quarter of this year, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.

The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a moderate year-over-year gain of 1.6 percent, even though it underperformed the macroeconomy.

“The growth of the exhibition industry should pick up the pace during the second half of the year as the economy remains strong despite uncertainties surrounding an escalating trade war and the political environment,” said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates.  

The GovernmentIndustrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business InputsSporting Goods, Travel and Amusement; and Raw Materials and Science sectors all registered robust year-over-year gains.

In contrast, Financial, Legal and Real Estate and Education posted year-over-year declines.

All exhibition metrics in the second quarter posted positive year-over-year gains. Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and attendees both posted the largest increase of 1.9 percent, followed by net square feet, which rose 1.8 percent, whereas exhibitors gained 0.7 percent.

Several industries have been in a secular decline including Business ServicesConsumer Goods and Retail TradeEducation; and Financial, Legal and Real Estate sectors.

“Anemic growth in the number of exhibitors is in part attributable to secular downward trends evidenced in these sectors,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE. “Barring any other negative downward trends in the economy, and until any of these sectors stabilize, the overall growth for the industry will remain modest.”

The CEIR Event Performance Analyzer provides exhibition organizers with a tool to measure how an event is performing in its sector, as well as in the overall industry.

The CEIR Index Report provides an economic overview of the exhibition industry, including key indicators for growth. Together, these resources provide insights for developing business strategies and goals. 

The annual CEIR Predict Conference, scheduled Sept. 13-14 at the MGM National Harbor, will provide exhibition professionals with insights from Chief Economist Dr. Lindsey Piegza of Stifel Fixed Income.

Dr. Piegza will help attendees understand the economic factors impacting the exhibition industry. 

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