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The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that the recent growth of the exhibition industry continued during the first quarter of 2018. The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a decent year-over-year gain of 1.8% (see Figure 1), even though it underperformed the macroeconomy (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2018Q1

CEIR 2018Q1 Index Figure 1

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-over-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2018Q1

CEIR 2018Q1 Index Figure 2

"The increase in the first quarter supports our prediction that the exhibition industry will finally enter into an expansion phase in 2018 with the Total Index surpassing its previous peak," said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; and Government all registered robust year-over-year gains. In contrast, Consumer Goods and Retail Trade and Education posted year-over-year declines.

All exhibition metrics in the first quarter posted positive year-over-year gains (Figures 3 and 4). Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) posted the largest increase of 2.8%, followed by net square feet which rose 2.0%, whereas attendees and exhibitors gained 1.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2018Q1

CEIR 2018Q1 Index Figure 3

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2009-2018Q1

CEIR 2018Q1 Index Figure 4

“The first quarter of 2018 demonstrates that even in times when some sectors may be struggling, the total CEIR Index indicates the exhibitions industry is poised for steady growth,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE.

The CEIR Event Performance Analyzer provides exhibition organizers with a tool to measure how an event is performing in its sector, as well as 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 13-14 September 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 exhibitions industry.

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 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