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CEIR Says Trade Show Growth Will Slow in 2016 But Accelerate in the Years Ahead

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
April 27, 2016
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Dallas, TX – The US trade show industry will likely continue to grow over the next three years and could soon reach the record high levels seen in the glory days just before the recession crashed the party.

Brian Casey, President & CEO, Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)The 2016 CEIR Index found enough silver linings to offset some worrisome developments currently taking place in the overall US economy. As a result, the exhibition industry’s growth rate has a good shot at picking up steam next year and then reaching an Index level of 112.2 in 2018, 3.5% higher than the previous record high of 108.5 set in 2007.

The findings released this Spring will be discussed in detail this Fall at the CEIR Predict conference in Washington, DC. “We are eager to share our new information and perspectives with the industry at the sixth annual Predict conference,” said Brian Casey, President & CEO of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). “The data from the latest CEIR Index will provide attendees with an excellent predictive edge.”

Some economists have warned that the swoon in oil prices and a slowdown in the vaunted Chinese economy could bog down the US economy. Those potential headwinds, however, don’t appear to be strong enough to alter the upward trend in GDP growth, which will continue to trail the growth rate of the exhibitions industry.

CEIR Economist Allen Shaw of Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. said the critical construction and manufacturing sectors will continue to improve, which will help spur US employment and offset sluggish government spending. The real impact probably won’t be seen until next year. 

“The overall CEIR index will slow to 2.4% (in 2016),” Shaw said. “That is 1.3 percentage points lower than the 2015 rate but still a 0.1 percentage point higher than real GDP. Growth will accelerate to 2.7% in 2017 and 3.0% in 2018 as the economy strengthens. This performance represents the fastest sustained growth in the history of the CEIR index.”

The key will be more jobs and economic growth at the consumer level, which would strengthen several economic sectors and drive the growth of trade shows that serve them.

The CEIR Index looks at the performance of shows in 14 industry sectors. It looks specifically at exhibit space, number of exhibitors, attendance and revenue.

To obtain a copy of the 2016 CEIR Index or to find more information about the September 14-15 CEIR Predict conference, visit www.ceir.org

Reach Brian Casey at (972) 687-9242 or bcasey@ceir.org

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