The Global Barometer for UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, indicates that 2017 will be a year of continued growth for the industry, though the degree of growth will vary from one region to the next. South Africa expresses the highest degree of pessimism for 2017, with 45 percent of the show organizers surveyed saying they will begin 2017 with increased year-on-year revenue, and 46 percent saying they will see decreases. On the other end of the spectrum is Brazil, where 90 percent of organizers expect to be turning over higher revenues by year’s end. The rest of the world falls somewhere in between.
Examined are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Russia, South Africa, and Thailand plus regional zones such as Eastern Europe and Central and South America. Overall, more organizers are reporting revenue increases than those who are not, which is a significant turn from the Great Recession years of 2009 and 2010. Four out of 10 companies are exploring expanding beyond their home borders, particularly companies in the United Kingdom (70 percent), the United States (67 percent), and the Middle East (57 percent). In addition, a large majority of the companies surveyed worldwide say they are planning the addition of events and activities to their current lineup.
Globally, the top concern reported by organizers is the state of the economy in the home market, though in China, Germany, and the Middle East, that issue falls far below concern over global economic developments. Rising as a factor of importance noted by organizers worldwide is competition from within the industry, which economists consider a healthy sign of industry recovery.
The recently released Global Barometer is the 18th edition of UFI’s biannual research that measures the world climate for trade shows by querying organizers about the state of their business. The study, which was introduced in 2008, analyzes the responses of 240 organizers from 54 countries. The report is available at no charge from UFI at www.ufi.org.