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COVID-19 Resources

Throughout the world, COVID-19 has greatly impacted the business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions industry. CEIR has closely monitored the effects of the pandemic on the industry by tracking event cancellations and postponements. Below are resources contributed by the CEIR team that provides further insights as to the future of the B2B exhibitions industry.

Matchmaking Before & During COVID-19: How North American B2B Exhibition Organizers Use Technology to Connect People and Products

Attendee matchmaking is more important than ever today. It was important prior to the pandemic to help assure attendees and exhibitors maximize their face-to-face (F2F) engagement at physical trade shows. Today, where most in-person events are paused and instead are happening virtually, meaningful F2F engagement is a major challenge. This study provides an understanding of attendee matchmaking pre-COVID as well as what organizers were looking for at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Download the complimentary report.

Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. B2B Exhibition Organizers

Click here to download all past COVID-19 related webinar presentations. Please note that you must sign in or create a CEIR store account BEFORE downloading the webinar presentation.

July 2020

This webinar provided an economic update, key indicators to follow and possible scenarios for recovery of the economy and B2B exhibitions industry.

Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM, CEO – Center for Exhibition Industry Research moderated this important, relevant and timely discussion and presentation with Allen Shaw, PhD., President & Chief Economist of Global Economic Consulting Associates.

View the webinar recording.

June 2020

Updates to the findings, first released in April 2020, were presented in a webinar as well as new stats on how U.S. B2B exhibition organizers are making the decision to transform their face-to-face event to either a virtual or hybrid option.  Top findings from the webinar included:

  • Impact on staffing
  • Rate of cancellations and postponements
  • Benchmarks on gross revenue impacts
  • The reasonings behind moving to a virtual event
  • Revenue outlooks for virtual events
  • The continuation of virtual events in the future

The webinar also featured:

  • Brian Cuthbert, Group Vice President, Diversified Communications who has shows scheduled for Fall 2020 and the steps his team are making to decide if their shows should remain in-person or move to a virtual option.
  • Rochelle Richardson, CEM, Senior Vice President of Exhibitions and Events, AVIXA who shared takeaways on how her show, InfoComm moved from an in-person to a virtual event.

Download the slide deck and view the webinar recording.

Link to the webinar recording is included in the presentation slide deck.

April 2020

The CEIR Research team provided vital insights from the baseline survey fielded in April 2020 that were sent to U.S. B2B exhibition organizers. A webinar was produced, which shared the following survey findings:

  • Impact on staffing – change in work status and income, staffing outlook if pandemic persists
  • Organizational actions, beyond staffing changes, in response to COVID-19
  • Rate of cancellations and postponements
  • Benchmarks on gross revenue impacts
  • Tactics undertaken to mitigate losses, such as providing a virtual component to an event
  • Tactics and strategies moving forward post COVID-19

The webinar also featured:

  • State of the U.S Economy from CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw and what that means for B2B exhibitions industry
  • Jennifer Heinhold, CEM,  Senior Vice President of Events with Access Intelligence who provides examples of how her organization has navigated through this pandemic.

Download the slide deck and view the webinar recording.

Link to the webinar recording is included in the presentation slide deck.

Future of COVID-19 Research: What’s Next?

CEIR is dedicated to providing relevant and timely information. A new survey on COVID-19 effects is currently being fielded. Keep a watch for updated results on key benchmarks and a deeper look at trends uncovered in these findings.


Conversations about COVID-19: CEIR Insights on Coronavirus Impact on Exhibitions Industry

Key findings from a CEIR survey reveal that 2020 is not a complete loss for the business-to-business exhibitions industry if COVID-19 is brought under control. CNTV President, Carrie Ferenac had a one-on-one conversation with CEIR’s VP of Research, Nancy Drapeau, PRC, who shared crucial insights into the impact of COVID-19 and the road to recovery.

Insights from CEIR Economist

COVID-19 Outlook: An Economist’s Perspective

With event cancellations and postponements, CEIR estimates the total loss to the U.S. economy to be $14 billion to $22 billion. However, since this is a transitory event, we expect a full recovery for the exhibitions industry in 2021.

A Note on Monitoring Total and New COVID-19 Confirmed Cases in the United States

The U.S. has surpassed mainland China in the number of total confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases will not reach a plateau in the U.S. until late April at the earliest.