CEIR: Exhibition Industry Seeing Year-Over-Year Growth

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research is anticipating an expansion phase for the industry after a positive first quarter. The 1.8 percent year-over-year boost reflects the growth of tradeshows in most major industries.

The tradeshow industry is seeing solid year-over-year growth, even if it’s not necessarily surging.

That’s according to a new report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, which revealed last week that its CEIR Total Index showed 1.8 percent growth for the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. That is roughly in line with the growth seen in the first quarter last year and slightly above year-over-year growth during the same period in 2016.

While not as strong as the prior quarter’s 3.5 percent year-over-year growth, and slightly slower than the economy at large, CEIR says the measure represents stability for the industry, which has seen some down quarters over the past two years.

“The increase in the first quarter supports our prediction that the exhibition industry will finally enter into an expansion phase in 2018 with the Total Index surpassing its previous peak,” CEIR economist Allen Shaw said in the report.

The Total Index combines four measures of conference growth: revenue, exhibition square footage, and number of attendees and exhibitors. All four rose in the first quarter, led by inflation-adjusted real revenue (2.8 percent) and net square feet (2 percent). Attendee levels rose 1.8 percent, while exhibitors increased at a slower 0.7 percent rate.

Most industries saw exhibition growth in the first quarter, with construction, heavy machinery, and government meetings doing particularly well. However, events focused on education and consumer goods saw year-over-year declines.

Among individual events, one standout is CES 2018, which set a record for exhibit space, with 2.75 million square feet dedicated to 3,900 companies.

CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, sees reason for optimism in the numbers. “The first quarter of 2018 demonstrates that even in times when some sectors may be struggling, the total CEIR Index indicates the exhibitions industry is poised for steady growth,” she said in the announcement.

(jotily/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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