CEIR Index Results Reflect Strong Finish in 2015

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the business-to-business exhibition industry ended 2015 with a big splash. The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a strong year-on-year gain of 3.7% in the fourth quarter (see Figure 1). This growth is the second highest rate since the second quarter of 2012. It also marked the 22nd consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. Over the three years, 2012 through 2014, the exhibition industry growth generally lagged the pace of GDP, but the industry has now outperformed the macro economy for four quarters straight, and by a wide margin (see Figure 2).

“The strong momentum in the exhibition industry could carry forward into 2016 and offset weaker macro factors,” noted CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2015Q4

Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-on-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2015Q4

All four exhibition metrics in the fourth quarter posted year-on-year gains. As was the case during the first three quarters of 2015, the strongest metric was Real Revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) –  which rose an impressive 6.5% –  followed by Attendees, increasing by 4.9%. Net Square Feet increased 2.6%, and Exhibitors rose 0.9% (see Figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2015Q4

Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2007-2015Q4

In line with expectations as presented at last year’s CEIR Predict Conference, the Total Index increased by a robust 3.7% for 2015 for the year as a whole, 1.8 percentage points higher than in 2014. Real Revenues had strongest growth among the four metrics, gaining 6.2% from 2014 (see Figure 5). Attendees continued its upward trend since the end of the recession in 2009. In 2015, attendees exceeded its previous peak in 2007, 33.4 million and 32.4 million, respectively. To a large extent, the gains in Attendees during the last few years has been propelled by a strengthening job market (see Figure 6). Since Attendees is a leading indicator of the exhibition industry, good news on attendance bodes well for business in coming years.

Figure 5: Annual CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year % Change, 2000-2015

Figure 6: CEIR Attendees vs. Nonfarm Payroll Employment, 2003-2015

The overall exhibition industry’s performance varied by sector. The best performing sectors were (1) Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs (ID) and (2) Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM), which gained 12.9% and 10.1%, respectively (see Figure 7). Both sectors benefited from rebounds in housing construction and robust auto sales. On the other end of the spectrum, the weakest sector was the Government sector, where the index declined by 1.3%. This is hardly a surprise as governments at all levels and functions continued to face tight budgets, especially for training, education and travel.

Figure 7: Ranking of the CEIR Total Index by Sector, Year-on-Year % Change, 2015

“We anticipated 2015 would deliver positive results and yet we were pleasantly surprised that the industry outperformed our original projections,” said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. “While there are varying perspectives on the future performance of the U.S. economy, we remain optimistic for the year ahead. Stay tuned for our full 2015 Index report scheduled for delivery on or around April 1st.”

As an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, the CEIR 指数 measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics to determine overall performance: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold; Professional Attendance; Number of Exhibiting Companies; and Gross Revenue. The CEIR 指数 provides data on exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Outputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation. 点击这里 了解如何购买完整 CEIR 指数报告, which analyzes the 2014 exhibition industry and provides a future outlook for the next three years.

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 更多细节。

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CEIR 通过制作和提供基于知识的研究工具来促进展览和其他面对面营销活动的增长、知名度和价值,这些工具使利益相关者组织能够提高满足当前和新兴客户需求的能力,提高业务绩效并增强竞争地位。有关更多信息,请访问 www.ceir.org.

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