25 Quarters in a Row: Tradeshow Growth Streak Continues, CEIR Reports

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research reported another quarter of growth for tradeshows. While there were some weak spots in specific industries, they were mitigated by strong performances elsewhere.

The long winning streak for the tradeshow industry isn’t letting up just yet.

According to the latest quarterly index released by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the industry saw another uptick in the third quarter of 2016, growing by 1.9 percent from the prior quarter. It was the 25th straight quarter of growth—and outpaced the 1.6 percent growth seen in the somewhat-sluggish second quarter.

The growth came despite some significant political and economic issues that raised broader concerns for the global economy, including the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom—which occurred just before the third quarter began—and the 2016 presidential election.

“Improvement in exhibition performance amidst economic and presidential election uncertainties demonstrates strength in the exhibition industry,” noted CEIR Economist Allen Shaw.

Some of the weaknesses that showed themselves in the second quarter remained, however. Attendee growth, which improved by 1.1 percent in the third quarter, beat the 0.2 percent drop in attendees from the prior quarter but was low compared with other key metrics (net square feet, exhibitors, and real revenues), each of which saw increases above 2 percent in the latest quarter.

The reason for this weakness remains the same as in the second quarter: challenges within the oil industry, which have negatively affected attendance at energy industry events.

“However, the strong showing in attendance of Transportation, Medical and Health Care and Building, Construction, Home & Repair more than made up for the decline in oil-related exhibitions,” the report stated.

Ultimately, CEIR saw positives in the latest results, especially in the context of current gross domestic product trends.

“The revised GDP growth rate for the third quarter of this year looks to exceed 3 percent, which offers a glimpse at a continued positive path for the exhibition industry,” CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey noted in a statement. “We continue to maintain a favorable outlook for the coming year as well, which should be good for everyone’s business.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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