2015 CEIR Census: Total Number of U.S. Events Up 3.5 Percent in Past Five Years

January 24, 2016

In the latest Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s 5-year Census Report, the number of annual business-to-business and business-to-consumer events in the United States increased 3.5 percent to 11,427.

The 2015 CEIR Exhibition Industry Census tracked the overall number of B-to-B and B-to-C shows held in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to be 13,447, accounting for just more than 107 million attendees and 1.9 million exhibitors.

"The Census, along with the yearly Index are two of the most powerful research tools offered to the exhibition industry by CEIR," said CEIR President and CEO, Brian Casey, CEM.

He added, "The information included in these reports has been instrumental in refuting perceptions that exhibitions are a thing of the past. The entire exhibition ecosystem from supplier, organizer, destination/convention centers will benefit from the information and analyses gleaned from these two very important pieces of research."

The report broke down the industry by not only sector, but also for each state in the U.S. and Mexico and provinces in Canada.

“The way it’s broken down shows where potential strengths and weaknesses may be,” Casey said. “This is very powerful information for a destination to be able to formulate and articulate a strategy. It will help sharpen sales and marketing efforts.”

In the U.S., the sector that had the most events was medical and health care, with 2,017, followed by Communications, Information Technology and Science, with 1,053. The sector with the least amount was Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs, with 161 events.

The state with the most events held in it was California, with 1,485, followed by Texas, with 1,316 and Florida, with 1,304, which saw a big jump of 23 percent in the last five years.

The city with the most events was Las Vegas, with 802, which was up 14 percent since the last CEIR Census Report.

Casey said the process to compile all of the information was initiated almost a year ago and undertaken by Vault Consulting, a trade show research consultancy.

Several companies contributed their databases to the 2015 Census, which were then carefully reviewed to eliminate duplication and ensure complete representation of the North American exhibition industry including the U.S., Canada and Mexico. All events with less than 3,000 net square feet of exhibition space were eliminated.

Additionally through the use of "intelligent" computer matching and intensive human review, duplicate events were eliminated. While approximately 75 percent of key data points were populated from the source databases, missing data points were extrapolated, when possible, to complete the 2015 Census database. After an extensive review of the data, a final 2015 Census database was approved. From this point, the final analysis of rankings, breakdowns, subtotals and totals was performed.

Casey said he hoped people in the industry realized the value of not only the CEIR Census Report, but also the CEIR Index, which tracks the health of the industry on a quarterly basis.

“These (reports) give us data that even the U.S. government doesn’t have,” he added, “When we advocate, it helps that we have hard numbers. It’s extremely important for the industry.”

To purchase your 2015 CEIR Census today click HERE

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: