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Report: Space sold at Asian tradeshows in 2012 tops 52 million square feet


More than 52 million net square feet of exhibition space was sold in Asia in 2012, according to the ninth edition of UFI’s annual report on the tradeshow industry in Asia.

Research shows more than 52 million square feet of space was sold by exhibition organizers to their clients in Asia in 2012. This represents growth of total net area sold of 2.7 percent from 2011. Of that total, more than 55 percent was sold in China and 12 percent in Japan. Among the 1,948 trade fairs included in the database in which 874, or 45 percent, were held in those two countries.

“Our research shows two clear trends: The continued trade fair boom in Southeast Asia and the maturing of the trade fair market in mainland China,” said Paul Woodward, managing director, UFI. “Both of these trends confirm that the trade fair market in Asia is one of the most exciting for organizers looking for high-growth opportunities.”

Once again, growth was highest in Southeast Asia in 2012. Malaysia and Singapore were the fastest-growing markets and were up by 8.2 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Indonesia’s trade show market grew by 6.6 percent, Vietnam by 4.9 percent and the Philippines by 3.9 percent.

The larger markets performed better in 2012 than in 2011. Asia’s largest market, China, grew by 3 percent, while Japan increased space sold by 3.2 percent and India by 2.8 percent – all of which are higher than the regional average of 2.7 percent. Two other large markets, South Korea, +0.8 percent, and Hong Kong, -0.4 percent, were relatively flat in 2012.

By the end of 2013, available venue capacity in Asia will exceed 21 million square feet. The number of venues operating in Asia this year will be 191 across 15 different markets. Of those, more than 100 are in China, which now accounts for 69 percent of total capacity in the region.

“With new venue capacity being added over the next two years in key markets – including Jakarta, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur – we expect that the growth will continue,” said Mark Cochrane, regional manager, UFI Asia-Pacific. “Southeast Asia should continue to post strong growth throughout 2013 and 2014, and we anticipate that China will see growth in its key markets as long as the global economy at least holds constant.”

In addition, China will open more venues, and its venue landscape will fundamentally change in 2015 with the opening of what will become Asia’s largest purpose-built exhibition center. The Hongqiao venue in Shanghai will add more than 1.2 million square feet of indoor space and 320,000 square feet of outdoor space when it opens in 2015.

The increased exhibition capacity in Asia also is reflected in UFI’s growth over the past decade.

“The growth in UFI’s membership in Asia reinforces the scale of the opportunities in Asia,” said Woodward. “We now have more than 200 members in Asia – accounting for approximately one third of UFI’s global membership. The number of members in Asia has risen by a factor of four in the past ten years – up from less than 50 in 2004.”

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