CEIR Report: Tradeshows Continue Growth Streak

The latest CEIR quarterly index shows that, after a solid 2015, the tradeshow space continued to outpace the economy as a whole in the first quarter of 2016.

The economy may be struggling with growth, but one sector that’s bucking the trend is on the tradeshow floor.

According to new research released this week by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the first quarter of 2016 maintained its streak of growth, improving by 2.6 percent from a year ago. It’s the 23rd straight quarter of growth in the tradeshow sector. After a weak period during the economic crisis, CEIR’s total index for the exhibition-industry growth has remained ahead of the growth rate of the gross domestic product for each of the past five quarters.

Every main metric used in CEIR’s reporting showed an improvement, though some, like real revenue (which rose 5.4 percent), did better than others, like the number of attendees (a barely-there 0.1 percent increase).

So, what’s driving the growth? According to CEIR, specific sectors played an important role, particularly construction, information technology, food, government, and transportation. CEIR economist Allen Shaw, who is the chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc., noted that the results were particularly strong given the sluggish economic news elsewhere.

“The exhibition industry is off to a good start in 2016,” Shaw said in a news release. “As the economy rebounds from the weak first quarter, the exhibition industry will gain further ground.”

The Trade Show News Network reports that a variety of events did particularly well in the first quarter, including the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California; NY Now in New York City; and World of Concrete in Las Vegas.

The news comes in the wake of a particularly strong 2015, which saw a 3.7 percent tradeshow growth rate, according to CEIR.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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