Business-to-Business (B2B) Exhibitions Industry Contributed more than $97 Billion to U.S. GDP in 2018

Today the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announces that the business-to-business (B2B) exhibition industry’s direct, indirect and induced contribution to U.S. GDP in 2018 was about $97 billion.

The yearly analysis, conducted by Dr. Allen Shaw, Founder, President, and Chief Economist with Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc., uses a robust formula and algorithm to calculate direct, indirect and induced GDP impact from the B2B exhibitions industry spending.

Dr. Shaw explains the methodology when completing the work to establish the economic impact for the U.S. “Direct, indirect and induced impact multipliers of direct expenditure categories such as trade show services, air transportation, accommodation and food are derived from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ latest benchmark input/output table for 405 industry groups. This coupled with data from Freeman’s 2018 Benchmarks and Trends in Exhibit and Sponsorship Sales Study and input from the 2018 CEIR Index data for organizer revenues, the number of attendees and number of exhibitors make up the B2B exhibition industry’s direct, indirect and induced contribution to U.S. GDP of $97 billion in 2018.”

Shaw also noted that the comparable GDP contribution calculation using this updated data and GDP impact multipliers was about $93 billion versus the previously stated $91 billion impact for 2017.

“I am very pleased to learn that the U.S. exhibitions industry continued its growth in 2018. The $97 billion represents an increase of 4.3% over 2017,” said CEIR Chairperson of the board and Promotional Products Association International Executive Vice President, Robert McLean, CPA, CAE. “This growth is an indicator of the power of face-to-face meetings as an important sales and marketing tool,” added McLean.

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 with Dr. Lindsey Piegza of Stifel Fixed Income. Registration is open for qualified exhibition organizers.

For more than 40 years, CEIR has been the most trusted and respected source for comprehensive research and analysis on the B2B exhibitions industry in North America. CEIR’s solid research process and data integrity is fundamental to enabling exhibition industry professionals from around the world to make sound business decisions when using CEIR economic reports.

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


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