Global Exhibition Venue Space Grows Worldwide

November 12, 2017

As the total amount of exhibition space available around the world continues to grow, exhibition organizers have a more and more diverse choice of venues available in their target markets.

Data released by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, shows that the number of venues offering more than 100,000 square meters (1.1 million square feet) of gross indoor exhibition space is the fastest growing segment, while the number of venues offering at least 5,000 square meters (53,000 square feet) of gross exhibition space also continues to grow.

“We are pleased to see that in recent years, additional venue space has become available in almost all regions of the world,” said Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director.

He added, “Venue investments are long-term investments – so these trends underline the positive outlook for the exhibition industry mid- to long-term. In addition to adding new space, many venue operators have also made significant investments to upgrade their existing venue capacities.”

With the “World Map of Exhibition Venues”, UFI regularly produces a global census of all exhibition venues with a minimum of 5,000 sq. m. of gross indoor exhibition space.

Offering a preliminary view of the full report that will be available in December, UFI communicated on the consolidated results of the 2017 edition of the World Map, which highlights trends and developments in recent years.

Currently, there are 1,221 exhibition venues with a minimum of 5,000 sq. m. of gross exhibition space around the world and the total global venue space is 34.9 million sq. m., a 7.2 percent increase during the last 6 years. In this same period, the number of large venues offering more than 100,000 sq. m. of space has grown to 61, a staggering 27 percent increase in just 6 years.

Due to a surge in venue projects in Asia/Pacific, driven primarily by China, there now is more venue space available in this region than in North America.

That being said, Europe retains its global lead on available venue capacities with 45.4 percent of the global market share (down 2 percent compared to 2011), ahead of Asia/Pacific with 23.6 percent (up 3.3 percent) and North America with 23.4 percent (down 1 percent).

In line with UFI’s mission to provide vital data to the entire industry, several infographics related to these first insights are available free of charge on the UFI website

The full report, which will be available in December, will include data for each region and for the main national markets. It also will include a list of all venues with a minimum of 100,000 sq. m. of gross indoor exhibition space.

UFI would like to thank the following organizations, who helped collect the data for this research: AAXO (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEV (United Kingdom), AFE (Spain), AMAREF (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), BSG (UFI/BSG Asia/Pacific report), CAEM (Canada), CENTREX (Central Europe), CLC VECTA (The Netherlands), EXPO EVENT (Switzerland), FAIRLINK (Scandinavia), FEBELUX (Belgium/Luxemburg), RUEF (Russian Federation), TFYD (Turkey), TSNN (US), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).

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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: