The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released CEIR Index results for this year’s first quarter. Despite a sluggish macroeconomy, the strong growth momentum of the business-to-business exhibition industry during 2015 has carried into the first quarter of 2016. The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a relatively strong year-on-year gain of 2.6% in the first quarter (see Figure 1). It marked the 23rd consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. Over the three years through 2014, the exhibition industry growth generally lagged the pace of GDP, but the industry has now outperformed the macroeconomy for five quarters straight and by a wide margin (see Figure 2).
“The exhibition industry is off to a good start in 2016,” noted CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “As the economy rebounds from the weak first quarter, the exhibition industry will gain further ground.”
Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2016Q1
Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry Vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-on-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2016Q1
The strong year-on-year growth in the Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM), Communications and Information Technology (IT), Food (FD), Government (GV) and Transportation (TX) sectors more than offset the weakness in the Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs (ID) and Raw Materials and Science (RM) sectors.
All four exhibition metrics in the first quarter posted year-on-year gains. As was the case during 2015, the strongest metric was Real Revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation), which rose an impressive 5.4%, followed by Net Square Feet with an increase of 3.0%. Exhibitors increased 1.9%, whereas Attendees rose 0.1% (see Figures 3 and 4).
Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2016Q1
Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2009-2016Q1
“The exhibition industry continues to show steady and consistent performance,” said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. “We are looking forward to delving into how these figures fit into the overall economy and how industry executives can use these results in their strategic planning during the upcoming CEIR Predict conference.”
Predict: CEIR’s Annual Outlook Conference will be held 14-15 September 2016 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 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.
CEIR provides industry-leading research on the North American exhibitions and events industry globally which optimizes performance, increases engagement and addresses emerging customer needs. For additional information, visit www.ceir.org.
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