The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announced that data collected for the annual CEIR Index report for the second quarter of 2010, marked the ninth consecutive quarter of underperforming the previous year. The exhibition industry experienced an overall decline of 1.4 percent when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
Parallel lagging indicators of recovery of net square feet and revenue are still showing a decline; however, the decline is at a much slower rate. Net square feet of exhibit space sold showed a decline of three percent, with exhibitors declining three percent; however, when compared to the same period in 2009 both metrics are showing improvement, net square feet declined 10.1 and exhibitors declined 12.8 percent. In addition, revenue declined 4.4 percent, compared to a 16.9 decline in 2009 second quarter results. The CEIR Index, released in April, reported one of the leading indicators to look for in a recovery of the exhibition industry is professional attendees.
Second quarter data indicates some optimistic signs with a 4.5 percent positive change in attendance. These results are especially positive when compared to first quarter data which indicated a decrease of 0.2 percent over 2009.
It is anticipated that slow growth will continue through 2010 and the results suggest that if the U.S. economy is able to avoid a double dip recession, the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter of 2011 could be the beginning of a true recovery for the exhibition industry. Watch for retail sales to be an indicator of recovery.
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. The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 11 key industry sectors: professional business services; consumer and retail trade; sports and entertainment; food; government; building and construction; industrial and manufacturing; communications and information technology; medical and health care; raw materials and science, and transportation.