The tradeshow industry in Asia has not only endured in an overwhelmed global economy, it is outpacing others and is continually escalating the amount of show floor space sold.
In a report prepared by Business Strategies Group, Ltd. (BSG) in Hong Kong on behalf of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, not only does the tradeshow market continue to increase, but China is the top contributor to this success.
As reported by BSG research, the overall expansion of the market in Asia shows that 48.8 million square feet of space was sold by fair trade organizers to their clients in Asia in 2009. This is a notable increase compared to 2008’s nearly 47 million square feet. The total net area sold in Asia had grown by 3.8 percent. Nearly 55 percent of that total space was sold in China. They took the top spot 2008 as well with 53 percent of total sales. In 2010, China has already increased sales by seven percent.
According to a statement on the UFI website made by Vincent Gérard, former managing director of UFI, the Chinese trade fair and exhibition industry presents an enormous potential, directly linked to the potential of its fast grow economy, especially after China entered into the World Trade Organization.
“While the exhibition industry in the U.S. and Europe struggled to find their feet in 2009, Asia posted another year of substantial growth,” said Gérard. “As China, Asia’s largest trade fair market, grew by nearly seven percent and the regional as a whole grew by 3.8 percent, it is clear that in 2010 and beyond the global exhibition industry will be looking to Asia for opportunities to grow existing events as well as launch new ones.”
Japan’s sale space has been steadily dropping since 2007, but remains in the second sales space for Asia on the whole. Last year, 13 percent of show floor space was sold in Japan, but this is a significant decrease from 17 percent in 2007. In 2010, Japan dropped to being the poorest performer in the region claiming only four percent growth for the year.
Of the nearly 1800 trade fairs held in Asia, 47 percent of those were attributed to China and Japan together.
The global attitude on the 2010 economy is uneven, yet BSG predictions for Asia denote a positive outlook. “Last year, China alone recorded net space sales of 26.9 million square feet and over 48.9 million square feet were sold across the region,” said Mark Cochrane, UFI Asia/Pacific regional manager and BSG’s managing director. “By the end of 2010, we expect that figure to reach more than 51.8 million square feet.”
In addition, BSG is projecting in 2010 that China and India will be the region’s top economic performers. China’s economy is predicted to swell by 10 percent and India’s by 8.8 percent. Other major markets in Asia are expected to post solid growth of three to six percent as well. Only moderate economic growth is predicted for the United States.
In preparation for the expected escalation in sales, Asia has subsidized additional venues for exhibitions by adding to their current 18.6 million square feet of show space for a total of 19.7 million square feet. China will boast 95 of the 175 tradeshow venues in Asia by the end of 2010 accounting for 68 percent of tradeshow capacity in Asia. This is 11 times the size of the next largest market which is Japan.
“Asia will continue to provide the key platform of growth for the exhibition industry worldwide,” said Cochrane. “The growth here has been impressive. In 2004, 26.9 million square feet were sold in Asia.”