Steadied growth for 2013 is the outlook for the exhibition industry based on first-quarter results reported by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), a producer and deliverer of knowledge-based research tools.
“Overall, the first-quarter results are positive and confirm that the exhibition industry has survived and emerged from the recession,” said Allen Shaw, Ph.D., economist, CEIR and chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “With eleven consecutive quarters of growth as well as our predictions closely matching outcomes, we are confident in the continued growth and progress of the industry.”
Data collected for the first quarter of 2013 CEIR Index was in line with CEIR forecast and reveals that the Total Index increased by 1.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012 but fell behind real GDP, which gained 1.8 percent during the same period.
This was a modest acceleration from the 0.9 percent growth seen in the fourth quarter of 2012. Growth from the individual metrics are promising with the most substantial gains seen in Net Square feet gaining 2.3 percent followed by exhibitors, which showed a 2.2 percent increase, and Real Revenues increased by 1.0 percent. However, there was a slight decline of 0.2 percent in attendees, which is attributed to the weakness of government-employee participation.
“With the decline in attendance, we are closely monitoring business-to-business exhibitions, especially for tradeshows that depend on government employees’ participation, to determine how much of the attendance decline is directly attributable to Sequestration,” said Douglas L. Ducate, CEM, CMP, president and CEO, CEIR. “Based on media reports from lawmakers in Washington, it appears unlikely that both parties will reach an agreement on a “grand bargain” in the near future; therefore, this period of uncertainty is likely to continue through 2013.”
As an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, the CEIR Index measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics to determine overall performance: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold; Professional Attendance; Number of Exhibiting Companies; and Gross Revenue.
The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.