CEIR Releases 2021 Index Report, Hosting State of the U.S. B2B Exhibition Industry Webinar Sept. 30

September 27, 2021

Last week, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released its 2021 CEIR Index Report, which analyzes the 2020 U.S. B2B exhibition industry’s performance and provides an economic and exhibition industry forecast for the next three years. Released annually, the report is a powerful tool designed to help organizers, service providers and the financial community understand the economics of trade shows, providing the context and insights needed to help inform strategic business decisions. 

Due to the pandemic, CEIR did not produce an Index Report in 2020.

As an objective measure of the exhibition industry’s yearly performance, the CEIR Index Report provides U.S. B2B exhibition industry data across 14 key sectors and measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics: net square feet of exhibit space sold; number of exhibiting companies; professional attendance, and gross event revenues.

“The CEIR Index Report is absolutely essential to the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance’s (ECA) advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and nationwide,” said Tommy Goodwin, ECA vice president of government affairs. “Each year, the Index has the up-to-date data that we need to demonstrate to federal policymakers that the business-to-business exhibitions industry is an economic engine that drives jobs and commerce from coast to coast.”

The 14 industry sectors covered in the 2021 report include: 

  • Business Services (BZ)
  • Consumer Goods and Services (CG)
  • Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services (CS)
  • Education (ED)
  • Food (FD)
  • Financial, Legal and Real Estate (FN)
  • Government (GV)
  • Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM)
  • Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs (ID)
  • Communications and Information Technology (IT)
  • Medical and Health Care (MD)
  • Raw Materials and Science (RM)
  • Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment (ST)
  • Transportation (TX)

 A CEIR Index Report forecast update was presented at the recent CEIR Predict conference, held Sept. 13-14 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. Focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry thus far, the conference provided a post-pandemic outlook and possible scenarios for the next three years. 

“In the baseline scenario, the impact of COVID-19 diminishes and the exhibition industry should see a dramatic rebound in 2022, exceeding 100% year-over-year increases in all 14 sectors, albeit from a low base in 2021,” explained CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw, chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “By the end of 2023, the exhibition industry is expected to fully recover. Nonetheless, performance by sector will diverge depending on its secular (long-term) trends and underlying macroeconomic conditions.”

To watch a video of key insights from that presentation, go here.

The 2021 report comes following a challenging 20 months that have left the trade show industry in a lingering state of uncertainty. 

“Exhibition organizers have demonstrated through health and safety measures that our events can be safely held,” said Cathy Breden, CEO of CEIR. “It is through data gathered for the Index that CEIR is able to generate economic impact figures related to the U.S. GDP. This economic impact of the exhibition industry is important for telling our story on the effect of shows on the U.S. economy.” 

To purchase the complete 2021 CEIR Index Report as well as individual sector reports, go here.

To take a deeper dive into the report’s findings and insights, CEIR will be hosting a webinar titled “Gain Latest Insights on the State of the U.S. B2B Exhibition Industry: How to Compare Your Event’s Performance to Industry Benchmarks.” Set for Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. ET, the hour-long event will be moderated by Breden and feature presentations by Nancy Drapeau, CEIR’s vice president of research, and Dr. Shaw. 

Designed for B2B exhibition organizers and executives but open to all industry professionals, this engaging and interactive session will not only explore the report’s latest forecast analysis and how to interpret the results, but also how to use CEIR’s new and improved Event Analyzer tool, which enables organizers to see how their events compare to industry benchmarks. 

Topics covered in the webinar will include:

An overview of the state of the U.S. B2B exhibition industry:

  • Performance in the first half of 2021
  • Updated forecast outlook through 2023

Details on the updated Event Performance Analyzer tool:

  • How this tool is much easier to use – less data needs to be entered
  • Understand which industry benchmark charts are available at no cost
  • Unlock premium content

 A recording of the webinar will be available on the CEIR Webinars page within 24 hours. To learn more and to register, go here.


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