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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 2019. The CEIR Total Index, a measure of exhibition industry performance, posted a decent year-over-year gain of 1.8% (see Figure 1) even though it under-performed the inflation-adjusted GDP (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2019Q1

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-over-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2019Q1

“The performance during the first quarter shows the resilience of the exhibition industry despite a government shutdown through most of January and uncertainties surrounding trade negotiations with China and slowing world economic growth,” said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

Food; Raw Materials and Science; and Building, Construction, Home and Repair all registered robust year-over-year gains. In contrast, Consumer Goods and Retail Trade and Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services posted year-over-year declines.

All exhibition metrics in the first quarter posted positive year-over-year gains except exhibitors (Figures 3 and 4). Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and attendees posted the largest increase of 4.1% and 2.2%, respectively. Net square feet (NSF) rose 1.5% and exhibitors dropped 0.4%.

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2019Q1

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2009-2019Q1

“The growth during the first quarter indicates that the exhibition industry is on track to register a ninth consecutive year of growth, albeit slowing growth as was forecasted by our economist in the 2019 CEIR Index Report,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE.

In addition to compiling the quarterly exhibition index, CEIR also offers analytical tools, an annual in-depth report and an outlook conference. 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 2019 CEIR Index Report includes a three-year forecast for the business-to-business exhibitions and events industry.

CEIR’s annual conference, Predict, taking place at the MGM National Harbor on 16-17 September will address the most current forecast and how it is affecting the 14 industry sectors through a highly anticipated session.

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