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CEIR Says Growth in Trade Shows

Center for Exhibition Industry Research: 2Q Shows One Percent Growth

Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports in an index that the trade show industry grew by one percent in the second quarter of 2014, marking the sixteenth quarter of consecutive growth. The report was released on September 11 at the CEIR Predict Conference in Chicago.


All four metrics tracked by the index posted year-on-year gains, with the strongest performance in Real Revenues, which rose 1.4 percent. The growth of the exhibition industry lagged behind GDP during the second quarter of 2014, a reversal of the previous two quarters. CEIR’s economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D. explained, “The underlying reasons for performance can be attributed to weak exhibition performance in the construction, business, education and non-profit exhibitions sectors.”

The sectors leading in performance to-date in 2014 are Food, increasing 6.2 percent; Discretional Goods and Services (CS), increasing 5.4 percent; and Communications and Information Technology (IT), increasing 4.3 percent.

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.



CEIR Predict Conference: Industry on Track for Positive Growth

More than 110 C-level trade show organizers and suppliers gathered Sept. 11 in Chicago at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research Predict Conference to not only hear about how the overall U.S. economy is faring right now and into the future, but also about the health of the trade show industry and the sectors it serves.

Ryan Sweet, senior economist for Moody’s Analytics, stated, “We are going to see a noticeable acceleration of the U.S. economy, and it’s been a long time coming.” Overall GDP growth will close out this year with a modest positive gain as well, and 2015 is predicted to see a 4 percent increase in GDP, he added.

The most growth worldwide still is expected to be in Asia, which is predicted to see a five percent increase for the next two years. However, Sweet warned, “Europe makes us the most nervous. If they fall back into recession … it will affect us.”

Closing up the conference Bob Priest-Heck– president and COO of Freeman, and CEIR Predict Program Committee member– said experience marketing at shows is “as relevant as ever,” adding that organizers need to let attendees take control of the event. “If we’re going to engage them, we’re going to have to take risks.”


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