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The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that the recent growth of the exhibition industry continued during the second quarter of 2018. 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), even though it underperformed the macroeconomy (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2018Q2

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-over-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2018Q2

“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, Inc.

Government; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Sporting Goods, Travel and Amusement; and Raw Materials and Science 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 (Figures 3 and 4). Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and attendees both posted the largest increase of 1.9%, followed by net square feet (NSF) which rose 1.8%, whereas exhibitors gained 0.7%.

Several industries have been in a secular decline including Business Services; Consumer Goods and Retail Trade; Education; 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.”

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2018Q2

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2009-2018Q2

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 for 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 exhibition 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