The annual CEIR Index report for the second quarter marked the 12th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, increasing 1.2 percent overall, which is down by a 0.3 percentage point when compared to the second quarter of 2012, according to Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), a research agency.
While the growth of the exhibition industry was on par with GDP in the first quarter, the exhibition industry slightly lagged behind the macro economy as real GDP gained 1.4 percent year-on-year.
“Overall, the second-quarter results continue on a positive upswing, and they confirm that the exhibition industry has effectively weathered the recession and is a valuable business practice despite ongoing uncertainty from lawmakers in Washington,” said Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist, Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. and economist, CEIR.
The strongest metric in the second quarter was Professional Attendance, which jumped 3.9 percent, the biggest gain since the first quarter of 2012. This increase was a percentage point higher than the 2.9 percent increase last year. Real Revenues showed a slight increase as well, 1.4 percent, but were down compared to 2.0 percent over the same time in 2012. Net Square Feet was flat this quarter and down from a 1.0 increase in the second quarter of last year. Finally, Exhibitors declined by 0.5 percent compared to 0.1 percent increase that was seen during the same time last year.
By industry sector, the leaders so far in 2013 have been Professional Business Services (BZ), increasing 3.9 percent; Raw Materials and Science (RM), increasing 3.9 percent; and Food, increasing 3.4 percent. Conversely, the Government (GV) sector declined dramatically, by nearly 10 percent, which is attributed to retrenchment of state and local government expenditures and sequestration imposed on federal government limiting government attendees at exhibitions.
CEIR’s economists found the biggest surprise with the Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM) sector, which declined by 1.8 percent even though real estate construction had a strong rebound during the same period.
It is anticipated that there will be minimal growth through 2013; however, the exhibition industry will gain momentum in 2014 and track with GDP growth for the long-term.
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.