Space Sold at Asia Trade Shows Fastest-growing Since 2008

July 7, 2014
Space Sold at Asia Trade Shows Fastest-growing Since 2008 alt

There seems to be no slowing down for the Chinese exhibition industry, with the country posting the most growth in five years, as well as a plethora of new centers being built.

UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, released the 10th edition of its annual Report on the Trade Fair Industry in Asia, and net space sold in the overall Asian trade show market jumped by 6.6 percent in 2013 to more than 17.3 million net square meters (186 million net square feet), compared with 16.31 million net sq. m. (175 million net sq. ft.) in 2012.

Of that total, more than 55 percent was sold in China – or in terms of net space sold, 9.72 million sq. m. (104 million net sq. ft.), which is almost five times the space sold in Asia’s  second largest trade fair market, Japan (1.97 million sq. m. or 21 million net. sq. ft.).

“Our research reveals that last year, the trade fair industry in Asia grew faster than any time since 2008, demonstrating once again how dynamic is the Asian market,” Said Paul Woodward, UFI’s managing director.

He added, “UFI is proud to have played a role in supporting that growth as our membership in Asia has increased by a factor of five in the past decade and we anticipate even more growth in the years ahead.”

For the fourth year in a row, growth particularly was strong in Southeast Asia. Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore all outperformed the regional average of 6.6 percent, but the region’s fastest growing market in 2013 was Taiwan, where net space sold increased by nearly 14 percent.  

Of the larger markets, China posted the fastest growth – 8 percent in 2013. China has not grown that rapidly since 2008. The other large markets grew more modestly last year; India’s market expanded by 5.4 percent, Hong Kong and Korea by 3.4 percent and Japan by just 2.3 percent.

Asia’s venue capacity will exceed 7 million sq. m. (75 million sq. ft.) by the end of 2014, and the number of venues operating in Asia this year will hit 200 – up from the 100 venues that were in operation in 2004, when the first edition of this report was published.

 In 2014, China will be home to 106 venues and 4.85 million sq. m. (52 million sq. ft.) of gross indoor capacity. That represents almost 70 percent of total capacity available in the region.

 Adding to this total, China will soon open three more new venues – two in 2014 and one in 2015, adding more than 630,000 sq. m.  (6.7 million sq. ft.) to the market. The three new venues are located in Zhuhai, Tianjin and Shanghai, where the latter will become Asia’s largest exhibition venue.

The National (Shanghai) Center for Exhibition & Convention will feature a massive 403,500 sq. m. (4.3 million sq. ft.) of gross indoor space.

UFI Asia/Pacific Regional Manager and BSG Managing Director Mark Cochrane said, “The Asia trade fair industry sold more than 17.3 million sq. m. (186 million sq. ft.) in 2013. In 2004, that figure was approximately 8 million sq. m. (86 million sq. ft.). Last year, more space was sold in China than what was sold in the entire region in 2004.”

He added, “That remarkable track record of growth looks highly likely to continue with the new mega venue opening in Shanghai this year and additional space becoming available in key high-growth markets such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei in the next one to two years.”

This report provides detailed information on the development of trade fairs and supporting facilities in 15 markets: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The report also includes analysis on actual market performance in 2013, as well as forecasts and commentary on key trends in each market.

 The research was undertaken for UFI by Business Strategies Group (BSG) in Hong Kong. For more information on the report, please visit

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