Breaking News: Final 2011 CEIR Index Results Released




Breaking News: Final 2011 CEIR Index Results Released

DALLAS, 26 March 2012 – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced the release of the CEIR Index Report, an Analysis of the 2011 Exhibition Industry and Future Outlook today, and the outlook is positive. Despite a sluggish macro economy, the overall exhibition industry posted a relatively strong rebound of 2.7%, outpacing real GDP growth by 1 percentage point in 2011. The gain in the exhibition industry was reflected in all four metrics of measurement. This marks an end of three consecutive years of declines. The relatively strong rebound was better than expectations, finishing 15% higher than forecast.

CEIR Chairman of the Board, Chris Brown, Executive Vice President of Conventions and Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters, said, "Knowing that the CEIR Index serves as the barometer for the exhibition industry, I am excited by the 2011 overall results and even more so by the future outlook. The definitive results from our economists confirm their predictions from last year, and the three-year forecast is very encouraging."

Each metric measured by The Index saw positive growth. Net Square Feet (NSF) grew 2.7%, the number of Exhibitors increased 2.3%, the number of Attendees increased 3.4%, and Real Revenues grew 2.3%. Since the number of attendees tends to be a leading indicator, strong growth in that area bodes well for the industry going forward.

CEIR Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry
2012.03.26 CEIR Index Figure 2-15

CEIR Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry (% change)
2012.03.26 CEIR Index Figure 2-16

There was varied growth across the sectors. Government (GV) (7.0%) and business process-related exhibitions, including Machinery and Finished Business Outputs (ID) (11.2%), Communication and Information Technology (IT) (8.1%), and Transportation (TX) (5.7%), grew the fastest. The growth of those sectors was stronger than anticipated. In contrast, Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM) (-5.3%), Sporting Goods, Travel, and Amusement (ST) (-0.8%), and Medical and Health Care (MD) (0.2%) experienced negative or negligible growth. For those industries, the underlying macroeconomic indicators over the recession and the recovery turned out to be weaker than the original government data indicated. The macroeconomic drivers in 2011 were also more anemic than the Index forecast. Thus, the growth of those exhibition sectors was weaker than anticipated.

"The predictive feature that was added last year has been very revealing," said CEIR President and CEO, Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP. "CEIR’s economists, Dr. Allen Shaw of GECA and Dr. Jeff Werling of Inforum, were on point with their predictions for 2011, and they have done an excellent job of analyzing and reporting the data that exhibition organizers and corporations with an event portfolio can use to gauge results against the entire industry and events within a specific sector."

"The results seen in 2011 are very promising and serve as a strong platform for the next three years," said Dr. Shaw. "With a decade of data and observing the resilience of the exhibition industry through recession and a fragile global economy, the outlook is positive." The U.S. economy finished 2011 with upward momentum and employment growth also accelerated in the second half of 2011 and into 2012, adding 1.2 million jobs. The coming year should see continued recovery in all metrics and across all sectors covered by the Index, in line with a moderate expansion of the macro economy.

As an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, the CEIR Index measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics to determine overall performance: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold; Professional Attendance; Number of Exhibiting Companies; and Gross Revenue. The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.

The CEIR Index will be released at 2012 SISO CEO Summit on 26 March and a forecast update will be presented at the CEIR Predict conference in New York on 13 September 2012. Exhibition organizers who contributed data to the Index will receive the Index with the Introduction and Methodology, The Macro Economy and Overall Exhibition Industry, and the sector report in which their event(s) fall. For information on how to purchase the complete CEIR Index, visit For more information about contributing to the Index or about the Predict conference visit

CEIR sincerely appreciates the support it has received from sponsors of this year’s Index:

Title Sponsors:

  • Global Experience Specialists: GES
  • Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

  • Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI)
  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre
  • New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Orange County Convention Center
  • Reed Exhibitions

Event Sponsors:

  • a2z, Inc.
  • Media Sponsor: Convention News Television
  • Registration Sponsor: Experient
  • Reception Sponsor: McCormick Place
  • Mobile App Sponsor: Wyndham Jade
  • Break Sponsor: Trade Show Executive

For more information about the CEIR Index, contact Executive Director Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP or call +1 (972) 687-9201.

About CEIR
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position. For additional information, go to


Susan Brower, CMM, CCP
VP, Marketing and Communications
+1 (972) 687-9207

This email was sent by: CEIR     12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 308     Dallas, TX  USA 75251