This Just In

CEIR: Attendees and Exhibitors Spend Billions on Trade Shows


Dallas, TX – Direct spending on trade shows totaled $69.3 billion in 2012, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

The total figures, reached on behalf of CEIR by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP, was based on the actual sums forked over by attendees and exhibitors and did not rely on assumptions of the economic ripple effect, which magnifies the impact of each dollar spent.

“Direct spending fuels business for exhibition organizers and suppliers as well as the travel and tourism industries,” said Brian Casey, CEO of CEIR. “All of this commerce helps local, regional and the U.S. economies, which translates into job creation and retention.”

Pricewaterhouse Coopers looked at spending on trade shows in 2012, which involved more than 11,000 exhibitions with 3,000 or more net square feet and at least 10 exhibitors. The data determined that exhibitors spent $24.5 billion over the course of the year on everything from space rentals to services, accommodations and shipping. Exhibitors forked over $44.8 billion on registration, food and beverage, hotels, entertainment and other purchases.

Nancy Drapeau, CEIR director, said the direct-spend figures would be useful for cities as they quantify the economic benefits of trade shows in their communities. “They also offer a useful took for exhibition organizers aiming to make the case of the economic impact their event offers prospective host cities,” she said.

The figures were arrived at using data what was first compiled in 2009 for The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, an extensive report on the economic impact of conventions and trade shows that was created by PwC for the Convention Industry Council. The study was updated in 2012 by PwC using secondary market research, Drapeau told Trade Show Executive.

Reach Brian Casey at (972) 687-9242 or; Nancy Drapeau at (972) 687-9242 or

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