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CEIR: Exhibitors Held Spending Down in 2014, but Paid More for Exhibit Space


Dallas, TX – Exhibitors spent the largest chunk of their 2014 trade show budgets on exhibit space while at the same time reducing their outlays for staff travel and the creation of new booths.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) said in its annual report, “How the Exhibit Dollar is Spent,” that exhibitors shelled out about $25 billion on trade shows this year. Exhibit space costs ate up 39% of each dollar spent, well above the 14% earmarked for travel and entertainment, which was the second-largest expenditure category.

“How the Exhibitor Dollar is Spent” is available at “The data in this report is a resource tool for exhibitors who need an understanding on how their spending allocations are balanced with general exhibitor spending practices,” said Brian Casey, president and CEO of CEIR. “It provides an important planning tool for organizers and suppliers alike. They can determine what portion of the budget they capture, as well as an estimate of how much spending that means, dollar-wise.”

The report, which includes input from some 641 exhibitors surveyed online through Fall 2014, found that up to 68% of exhibitor budgets were basically unchanged from 2013. At the same time, 29% of respondents said their spending on exhibit space had gone up, either due to higher prices charged by show organizers, or because they bought more square footage than they had the year before. Expenditures were also up on line items, including show services, shipping, staff travel, and the building and maintenance of their booths.

The budgetary juggling among exhibitors in 2014 targeted show services and travel expenses. Spending on services was reduced by 30% of exhibitors.

Next year, 52% of exhibitors said they planned to use their current booths while on the trade show trail; 31% planned to refurbish those booths. Only 17% planned to purchase new exhibits, and 10% planned to rent booths.

Reach Brian Casey at (972) 687-9242 or

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