Exhibition Industry Continues to Grow, According to CEIR 2019 Second Quarter Results 

September 9, 2019

In line with the macroeconomy, exhibition industry growth continued during the second quarter of 2019 but at a slower pace, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. The CEIR Total Index, which is a measure of exhibition industry performance, posted a year-over-year gain of 1.6 percent even though it underperformed against the overall economy as reflected in the inflation-adjusted GDP.

“The growth during the second quarter indicates that the exhibition industry is on track to register a ninth consecutive year of growth, albeit slowing growth as was forecasted by our economist in the 2019 CEIR Index Report,” said Cathy Breden, CEO of CEIR.

While discretionary consumer goods and services; industrial/heavy machinery and finished business inputs; and communications and information technology all registered robust year-over-year gains, financial, legal and real estate; consumer goods and retail trade and sporting goods; travel and amusement posted year-over-year declines.

This upward trend for some industries was reflected in TSNN’s recent coverage of a few shows, including the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show, which experienced a 3-percent increase in attendance compared to 2018 as well as record exhibit space sales for the fifth year in a row.

Coverings, the largest international tile and stone conference in North America, also experienced a significant uptick in attendance at its 30th annual show, which drew in approximately 27,000 industry professionals from more than 90 countries, marking an 8.6 percent increase over the year before. 

According to the CEIR Index, all exhibition metrics in the second quarter posted positive year-over-year gains except for exhibitors. Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and attendees posted the largest increase of 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, while net square feet rose 0.2 percent and exhibitors dropped by 1.3 percent.

Predict, CEIR’s annual conference that will take place Sept. 16-17 at the MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C., will address the most current forecast and how it is affecting the 14 industry sectors. The session will feature Dr. Lindsey Piegza, chief economist of Stifel Fixed Income; Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM); and Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, and will be moderated by mdg Principal Vincent Polito.

The CEIR Index Report provides an economic overview of the exhibition industry, including key indicators for growth. The 2019 CEIR Index Report includes a three-year forecast for the business-to-business exhibitions and events industry.


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