Global Economic Impact of Exhibitions Figure Drums Up Excitement for GED19

April 26, 2019

The global economic impact of exhibitions totals $325 billion in business sales annually, according to a new report from UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

Conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics and supported by Society of Independent Show Organizers, the report claims to be the first time this figure has been calculated.

“This new data will support us when we talk to stakeholders about our industry, especially as it’s broken down into the direct, measurable economic impact per exhibiting company, right down to the economic value of every single square metre of venue exhibition space,” said UFI President Craig Newman. “On top of that, it makes me proud to work for our industry, knowing that we are securing over three million jobs.”

In this report, an exhibition, show or fair was defined as an event where products, services or information are displayed and disseminated.

Among other key findings:

  • The exhibition sector generates more than $81 billion in direct GDP, ranking as the 56th largest economy in the world
  • Approximately 32,000 exhibitions directly involved 303 million visitors and 4.5 million exhibitors across more than 180 countries in 2018
  • Europe was the largest market in terms of visitors, welcoming 112 million in 2018; North America ranked second with 92 million visitors
  • North America ranked first in total GDP, with more than $92 billion attributable to the exhibitions sector, followed by Europe with $57 billion
  • Overall, exhibitions generated $71,700 total sales per exhibiting company and $870 per square foot of venue gross indoor exhibition space

The report was timed appropriately to provide data in advance of Global Exhibitions Day, set to take place on June 5. On this day, exhibition industry professionals, associations and companies around the world will participate in events and activities to highlight the important role of the industry in driving regional, national and global economies.

“This is the fourth Global Exhibitions Day campaign, and it is our industry’s big day,” said Newman. “I am sure that GED19 will send a strong signal to all policymakers and stakeholders of our industry on the power of exhibitions, for business as well as for people.”

Get involved with #GED19 by accessing a promotional toolkit from UFI HERE, or read the full report on economic impact for free on UFI’s website HERE.


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