CEIR PULSE POLL: U.S. Trade Show Executives Weigh In on Issue of U.S. Trade Tariff Policy Impact on the Industry

DALLAS, 17 September 2019 – Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released results at the CEIR Predict Conference from a brief survey fielded this August, assessing U.S. trade show executive perceptions about U.S. trade tariff policies and whether these policies have had an impact on U.S.-based trade shows that have taken place in 2018 through July 2019.

Though China is the biggest target for trade tariffs, so are other U.S. trade partners including the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and other Asian countries. CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE noted, “Why is this issue of concern to our industry? U.S. trade shows are a gateway to doing business in our country.”

Government data tracking economic activity is slow to precisely quantify the impact such policies are having on the economy and trade itself. In the absence of this information, CEIR launched a short survey to gauge what impact, if any, these trade tariffs are having on U.S.-based trade shows.

The results show tariffs are having an impact for over half of surveyed organizers that have produced U.S. shows in 2018 through July of this year. Where impacts have been sustained, they are largely negative. In 2018, U.S. business-to-business (B2B) trade shows contributed $97 billion to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from direct and indirect spending.

CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, PRC said, “Very careful attention was paid to designing a survey that objectively gauged trade show executive sentiment about the impact of these trade tariffs on the U.S. trade show industry. And as well, to determine if impacts have been felt at U.S. trade shows that have taken place during the period that the trade war has been in play – in 2018 through July 2019.

Unfortunately, as shown below, 56% of executives that have held a U.S.-based B2B trade show in 2018 through July 2019 have encountered impacts, more so on the exhibitor side, 48%, with 36% reporting impact on attendee audiences. And where there has been impact it is largely negatively. Overall, on average, these organizers have sustained a gross revenue loss of 7.7%.”

In August 2019, IAEE and SISO members and Trade Show Executive readers who are executives that direct or manage U.S. based trade shows, were invited to participate in this study. A total of 129 executives replied providing results that are statistically valid at the 95% confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 8.6%. The response rate is estimated to be 3 percent. This sample includes an even mix of executives from association run and independently run trade shows.

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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