CEIR Announces 2019 Third Quarter Results

Exhibition Industry Continues to Grow Modestly

DALLAS, 12 December 2019 – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that growth of the exhibition industry continued during the third quarter of 2019. The CEIR Total Index, a measure of exhibition industry performance, posted a modest year-over-year gain of 0.6% (see Figure 1) even though it under-performed the overall economy as reflected in the inflation-adjusted GDP (see Figure 2). While the performance during the third quarter was weaker than the first two quarters of the year, it was a slight improvement over the same quarter in 2018 when it registered a year-over-year anemic gain of 0.2%.

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2019Q3

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-over-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2019Q3

“The growth of the exhibition industry should pick up the pace moderately during the fourth quarter of the year through the first half of next year despite 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.

Communications and Information Technology; Building, Construction, Home & Repair; and Food all registered robust year-over-year gains. In contrast, Education; Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; and Raw Materials and Science posted year-over-year declines.

All exhibition metrics in the third quarter posted positive year-over-year gains except net square feet (NSF) (Figures 3 and 4). Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and exhibitors posted the largest increases of 1.7% and 0.6%, respectively. Attendees rose a modest 0.5% and net square feet (NSF) dropped 0.3%.

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2019Q3

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-over-Year Growth, 2009-2019Q3

“In line with the macroeconomy, the growth of the exhibition industry has continued but at a slower pace,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM. “The growth during the first three quarters 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.

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, and includes a three-year forecast for the business-to-business exhibitions and events industry. Together, these resources provide insights for developing business strategies and goals.

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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