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The Future Predictions of Exhibition Business Based on CEIR Index Report 2018

26-Nov-2018   Author :   Category : Trends & Event Ideas

As we are close to the end of the year 2018, most exhibition and event industry experts are anxious about the current performance of exhibition industry as well as the future trend in terms of revenue, the number of attendees and high performing sectors. To understand the prospects of the exhibition industry now and thereafter, CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) report is quite a reliable source.

CEIR houses the world's latest and largest collection of primary, exhibition-related research studies. On quarter-to-quarter basis they release the performance report of the exhibition industry and predict the future exhibition business trend.  

How CEIR Report helps

The analysis of these survey reports have become more important than ever, as the inflation in 2008-09 hit the market badly and instill a bit of fear in business owners to take risk at full fledge.

Together, these resources provide insights for developing business strategies and goals for event and exhibition industry.  Further it can help to,

  • Measure performance against sector benchmarks
  • Identify new opportunities and justify business decisions
  • Understand the competitive marketplace
  • Understand customers—exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, and partners—more deeply
  • Understand and plan future exhibitions around industry trends


Exhibition Industry contribution in total GDP and market behaviour

On a global scale, some 31000 exhibitions are organized in a year and around 260 million visits the exhibitions.  The estimate spent by exhibitors and visitors is close to $ 100 billion and is expected to grow in coming years.

The below image represents the GDP growth pattern predicted by experts in 2017 for exhibition industry for the year 2018-19. And after CEIR report released for 2018, it seems their prediction was as accurate as hitting a bull’s eye (see image below).

                              [GDP prediction for exhibition industry for 2018-19]

If you compare the prediction report (above image) vs the actual report (below image), the quarter 2 for 2018 has shown 2.9% growth rate which is almost close to predicted figure back in 2017.  This means there is a good indication towards a progressive path of the exhibition industry in the year 2019 as well. 


                  [ GDP growth rate for exhibition industry from 2008 (Q1) to 2018 (Q2) ]

The contribution of the exhibition industry in global GDP is of paramount.  In 2017, U.S alone contributed more than $500 in total global GDP followed by West Europe and Asia. (see image below)

( Img Source :https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/c4vLi_4UpDn7SZmFKh3XHmlHcSCI26kubkjTO1_NIr55LfRryiadmzrOnu8MaML3D7GR=s112 )

Considering the fact that the U.S market has a key role in the exhibition industry, the 2018 CEIR report for U.S exhibition industry on various performance parameters is quite crucial to determine the overall growth pattern of the global exhibition industry. (See Image Below)


                       2018 (Q2)                                                                                         2017 (Q2)

    [ Comparison of Tradeshow Performance Parameters for year 2017 (Q2) and 2018 (Q2)  ]

Besides the volatility observed in various sectors and few good performing areas in the exhibition industry in the United States, the 2018 second quarter (Q2) has shown steady growth. Though the growth rate on various parameters observed lower than 2017 (Q2) but overall it is not bad.- net square feet for exhibition marked 1.8%, the exhibitor number to 0.7%, while attendees and revenue to 1.9%.  But as far as real GDP growth is concerned 2018-19 looks promising.

For detail report of exhibition industry growth click here

Some high and low performing exhibition sectors in 2018

Raw material sector which includes the petroleum industry in the last few years shown a decline over and over, but 2018 has been promising and managed to position itself among the high performing sectors.  The rest segments more or less trailed the same growth pattern in the previous quarter and remained steady in their profiting zone.  It is more likely they will remain the same in 2019.

While those exhibitors that were considerably low in performance were business services, financial, real estate sectors, consumer and retail trade.

 To improve the low-performance exhibitions, experts suggest exhibitors should re-structure tradeshow and exhibition strategy by designing a booth that connects with customers and help meet their needs.

They should focus on new technological developments, innovations and product offerings. There are wide ranges of tech ideas to improve exhibition performance like immersive flooring, photo-video activations, tactile activities, mixed reality, video walls –tiles, and so on.

Future Predictions for Exhibition Industry

According to Research and Market Report, the global exhibitions market is projected to generate revenues of around $36.35 billion, growing at a CAGR of 4.88% by 2023. This indicates the exhibition industry would surely see a paradigm shift in its revenue model in the coming years.

Further, global exhibition company Informa’s acquisition of UBM forms a world-leading business events and exhibitions group worth 8 billion pounds strengthening the exhibition industry. Informa organizes around 200 exhibitions a year while UBM counts Black Hat computer security events and Game Developers Conference among its 300-strong portfolio.

The acquisition will have a deep impact on the exhibition industry with brands serving 15 core industry verticals including Health & Nutrition, Life Sciences & Pharma, and Real Estate & Construction.  With a big player like Informa coming into action the low performing sectors are optimist to turn uneven odds into a growth opportunity in 2019.

Also, there is news that German exhibition organizers are planning 324 foreign trade fairs in 37 countries in 2019, which further instill confidence among overseas exhibitors seeking business opportunity cross-border. The main regions that will cover these events include Southern, Eastern and Central Asia, where 167 events will be taking place.

In terms of fastest growth rate of Exhibition Market, Asia-Pacific holds more growth opportunities accompanied by Hong Kong, China and Indian Market. In India, exhibition business is estimated at Rs. 65,000 crore ($650 billion) with over 700 major Trade Shows taking place every year with a growth rate of 12 percent per annum.

Hot region for exhibition industry over the World

As per CEIR economist Allen Shaw “Economic and job growth should continue to drive expansion in the exhibition industry”.  This was clearly observed when business Events Industry boosts global GDP with 1.5 Trillion Dollars and created 26 million Jobs.

Fifty countries accounted for 96 percent of the overall $1.07 trillion (US) in direct spending.  The countries that will stay on high revenue generating countries for exhibition industry are

  • The United States led with $325 billion, with China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan rounding out the top five.
  • Asia was the largest region in terms of business event participants representing nearly one-third of 1.5 billion total worldwide.
  • Western Europe ranked second, with almost thirty percent followed by North America with just under twenty-two percent of all attendees. The average spend per participant is $704 (US).


Most important issues faced by exhibition industry worldwide

Besides adapting to technology and innovative ideas there are few factors that exhibitors have to watch before planning their exhibition in 2019.  One of the challenging issues for exhibitors is Global economic development, which has reached its peak level, and down the line, it has put the break over the event exhibitor’s exponential growth.

However, the spirit of corporate event planners has not drop as survey done by special events magazine show that some 96 percent of respondents predict they will stage the same number or more corporate special events in 2019 than they will this year.

Some survey suggests that countries like China, India, and Germany will face the top business issue viz “Competition from within the industry”. Beside this, there are few other concerns that will be a stoppage for exhibition industry growth story that includes consolidation to digitization, investment in restructuring, fast-track hiring and long-term retentions.

There is no doubt that with the incorporation of technology and virtual events, the exhibition industry would scale up in terms of revenue and number of attendees.  But the above mention are the pain points exhibitors have to counteract first to make a success story.

Hosting an event, convention or trade show brings new revenue to industries across the country but the rising tension between U.S- China tradewar is another challenging factor that is looming over exhibition industry.  In the middle of all of this happening, the exhibition industry has to rise in all dimension let know what is your outlook on exhibition business in the decade or so.


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