CEIR TOTAL Index: Trade Show Industry Continues Its Growth Streak in Q1 2018

May 31, 2018

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research reports that the recent growth of the exhibition industry continued during the first quarter of 2018.

The performance of the industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, posted a decent year-over-year gain of 1.8 percent, even though it underperformed the overall macroeconomy.

"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," said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

Building, Construction, Home and RepairIndustrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; and Government all registered robust year-over-year gains.

In contrast, Consumer Goods and Retail Trade and Education posted year-over-year declines.

Just one first quarter mega-show that boosted its numbers was CES, the world’s largest consumer technology event, which set a new size record this year with a 2.75 million net square foot expo floor featuring 3,900 exhibitors.

Held Jan. 9-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and venues throughout the city, the 51st annual event for the global tech industry attracted more than 175,000 attendees from 150 countries.

In 2017, CES spanned 2.6 million net square feet, with its attendance and exhibitor numbers on par with this year.

All exhibition metrics in the first quarter posted positive year-over-year gains. Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) posted the largest increase of 2.8 percent, followed by net square feet which rose 2.0 percent, whereas attendees and exhibitors gained 1.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

“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,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE.

The CEIR Event Performance Analyzer provides exhibition organizers with a tool to measure how an event is performing in its sector, as well as the overall industry.

The CEIR Index Report provides an economic overview of the exhibition industry, including key indicators for growth. Together, these resources provide insights for developing business strategies and goals.

The annual CEIR Predict Conference, scheduled 13-14 September at the MGM National Harbor, will provide exhibition professionals with insights from Chief Economist Dr. Lindsey Piegza of Stifel Fixed Income. Dr. Piegza will help attendees understand the economic factors impacting the exhibitions industry.

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