Trade Show Industry Continues to Grow Modest 1.9 Percent in Third Quarter

November 29, 2016

The trade show industry continues to grow, even if it’s slightly, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s latest Q3 CEIR Index results.  

The third quarter posted a moderate year-on-year gain of 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, compared with 1.6 percent in the second quarter.

Faster growth was primarily attributable to a rebound in attendees and it also marked the 25th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. In addition, the industry has continued to outperform the macroeconomy for seven quarters straight.

"Improvement in exhibition performance amidst economic and presidential election uncertainties demonstrates strength in the exhibition industry," said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

The strong year-on-year growth in Discretionary Consumer Services, Medical and Health Care and Transportation more than offset the weakness in Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs and Raw Materials and Science.

All exhibition metrics in the third quarter posted positive year-on-year gains. Net square feet, exhibitors and real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) rose slightly more than 2.0 percent, whereas attendees posed a modest increase of 1.1 percent.

The latter compares to a decline of 0.2 percent in the second quarter. Weakness in energy sector investments due to low oil prices remained a drag on oil related exhibitions.

However, the strong showing in attendance of Transportation, Medical and Health Care and Building, Construction, Home & Repair more than made up for the decline in oil-related exhibitions.

“Our third quarter report continues to deliver an encouraging message that our industry is both growing and remains relevant across so many sectors,” said CEIR President and CEO Brian Casey, CEM.

He added, “The revised GDP growth rate for the third quarter of this year looks to exceed 3 percent, which offers a glimpse at a continued positive path for the exhibition industry. We continue to maintain a favorable outlook for the coming year as well, which should be good for everyone’s business.”

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