Predict: The Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s Annual Exhibition Industry Outlook conference drew more than 125 top level executives who gathered on September 14-15 in Washington, D.C., to learn about the disruptors to the traditional exhibitions model and how to remain relevant to their audiences. Leading experts presented on various industry considerations that have the potential for impacting economic performance as well as provided insight into perspectives that attendees can use in forming their strategies for the near future.
“For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of helping to bring the collective vision of CEIR Predict to life. This year, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we were able to bring in speakers – from leading economists to neuroscientists to data analysts – who are sharing knowledge that not only educates but inspires us to think broader and deeper about our jobs as leaders in the events business,” said Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes, mdg president and CEIR Predict program committee co-chairperson.
Vincent Polito, principal at VP International and mdg and CEIR Predict program committee co-chairperson echoed those sentiments, adding, “I truly believe that we’re in a transformative time in our industry and that the insights that were revealed and shared at CEIR Predict will help us better visualize and navigate our path forward.”
This year’s Predict brought in experts from outside the industry to provide unique perspectives. Experts on the economy discussed the current state of the economy, noting the underlying fundamentals remain strong; however, geopolitical uncertainty creates concerns for global businesses. Experts on the digital landscape discussed using analytics when creating engaging spaces and why developing a process for identifying a data analytic project is of critical importance, as well as developing and training staff for this new paradigm of being data informed. Finally, insights from Washington, D.C. media provided a unique perspective on President Trump’s administration.
Key points that emerged from this year’s CEIR Predict include:
- Global economic growth forecast for the near-term horizon is positive. Certain international regions, especially the European Union, are outperforming expectations, while the U.S. is falling short. Lower growth rates will likely prompt inaction on the part of central banks; low interest rates are likely to continue.
- As the U.S. retreats from advocating global trade, a new, multilateral, regional trade environment is forming. Volatility in global markets is more likely to occur due to political rather than security risks, though there will be an ongoing threat of lone-wolf terrorist attacks, with Western Europe the most vulnerable.
- Consensus is that anti-immigration policies and anti-trade/protectionist policies threaten to hurt U.S. economy
- Outlook for U.S. exhibition industry is tied to moderate U.S. GDP growth, with variable performance by sector
- The data analytics revolution is in play, with most data today collected digitally and a growing migration of this data residing in the Cloud
“We are pleased with the content presented at the CEIR Predict Conference this year,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE. “It is helpful to hear from experts who can provide additional context and perspective.”
CEIR would like to thank this year’s sponsors of Predict:
- Title Sponsor – GES
- Partner Sponsor – Freeman
- Visionary Sponsors – International Association of Exhibitions and Events and PSAV
- Collaborator Sponsors – a2z, Inc., McCormick Place – SMG and Synchronicities
- Associate Sponsors – CMAC, Convention News Television, CORT, Experient, Fern, Messe Frankfurt, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, Orange County Convention Center and The Expo Group
- Contributor Sponsors – 4imprint, Access Intelligence, Choose Chicago, Convention Data Services, Cvent, Georgia World Congress Center, Hargrove, Lively, Map Your Show, Oscar & Associates, Reed Exhibitions, tvsdesign, Visit Louisville, Visit Phoenix and VoiceLogic
The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering research-based knowledge tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position. For more info, visit www.ceir.org. To see highlights from Predict 2017, watch the video coverage here, provided by CNTV.