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DALLAS, 5 June 2017 – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that growth of the exhibition industry during the first quarter of 2017 resumed after a temporary setback in the fourth quarter of 2016. The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a moderate year-over-year gain of 1.6% (see Figure 1). However, the industry has continued to underperform the macroeconomy (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry,
Year-over-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2017Q1

CEIR 2017Q1 Index Results Figure 1

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP,
Year-over-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2017Q1

CEIR 2017Q1 Index Results Figure 2

"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.

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry,
Year-over-Year Growth, 2017Q1

CEIR 2017Q1 Index Results Figure 3

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry,
Year-over-Year Growth, 2009-2017Q1

CEIR 2017Q1 Index Results Figure 4

“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.

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 14-15 September 2017 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. The event provides an outlook on the global economy and the exhibition industry’s performance. Visit www.ceir.org/predict for more details.

About CEIR
CEIR serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research 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, visit www.ceir.org.

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Media Inquiries:
Mary Tucker
+1(972) 687-9226
mtucker@ceir.org