Global Trade Show Industry Stays on Course thru 2015, First Half of 2016

July 7, 2015

Even with Greece throwing the Eurozone into uncertainty and the China stock market dipping precipitously, the trade show industry in these two regions, and the majority of others worldwide, is reporting positive gains, according to UFI’s 15th Global Barometer survey.

An average of 6 companies out of 10 declared increases in their businesses.

When compared to 2014, the situation is stable for the Americas and Europe, but it reflects a slight slowdown in Asia/Pacific or Middle East and Africa, who had higher levels of growth in 2014.

However, both the United States and China outperform their respective regions, with more than 7 companies out of 10 declaring increases.

“Despite fairly different economic situations around the world, the regional consolidated results indicate some converging positive results in terms of turnover increase for the coming year,” said Paul Woodward, UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry's managing director.

In terms of operating profits, around 4 companies out of 10 in all regions, except Asia/Pacific, declared an increase of more than 10 percent in annual profits for 2014 and 2015; in Asia/Pacific, only 3 companies out of 10 do for 2014, but the situation improves to 5 companies out of 10 for 2015.

China outperforms these results, with 58 percent of companies expecting an increase of more than 10 percent of their 2015 operating profits.

Around half of respondents from all regions declared that the impact of the “economic crisis” on their exhibition business is finally behind them.

This level is similar to the one reached 6 months ago, except in Europe where the level of confidence increases from 28 percent to 45 percent.

For another 2 to 3 companies out of 10 in all regions, the crisis will be over in 2015 or 2016.

The most important business issues reported by the survey respondents remain related to the general economic situation with the state of the national/regional economy and global economic uncertainty consistently selected as among the three most important business issues for the last four years, together with local competition and internal management challenges.

Environmental challenges (customer expectations, regulations, etc.) appear, as in the last 3 surveys, as the next most important issue.

The 15th Global Barometer survey, conducted in June 2015, was answered by 201 companies from 55 countries. Full results of the 15th Global Barometer Survey can be freely downloaded at  The next UFI Global Barometer Survey will be conducted in December 2015.

“This survey proves very useful for the industry and its stakeholders, and we encourage all surveyed companies to keep providing their input for the next editions,” Woodward said. 

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