This Just In

CEIR Report Finds Exhibition Industry Growing but at Slower Pace


The pace of overall growth for the exhibition industry slowed in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). The recently released CEIR Total Index Report showed a year-over-year gain of 1.6% for the second quarter, underperforming the overall economy as reflected in the inflation-adjusted GDP.

Slowing growth for the industry was forecast in the 2019 CEIR Index (a three-year forecast released earlier this year), noted CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE. Nonetheless, the exhibition industry is “on track to register a ninth consecutive year of growth,” she said.

All exhibition metrics in the second quarter posted positive year-over-year gains except
exhibitors. Real revenues (nominal revenues adjusted for inflation) and attendees posted the largest increase of 3.8% and 3.7%, respectively. Net square feet rose a slight 0.2% and exhibitors declined 1.3%.

The CEIR Total Index Report also showed year-over-year robust gains in the following sectors: Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; and Communications and Information Technology. On the other hand, Financial, Legal, and Real Estate; Consumer Goods and Retail Trade; and Sporting Goods, Travel, and Amusement posted year-over-year declines.

“Rising uncertainties because of a slowing global economy, weak manufacturing sector and trade wars may have discouraged some exhibitors,” Breden told Trade Show Executive. “Also, M&A activity in industries may be impacting exhibitors.” She added that the results of the CEIR survey on the impact of the trade situation with China will be revealed and discussed at the CEIR Predict Conference. The conference will also address CEIR’s most recent data and how the economy is affecting exhibitions in all 14 industry sectors.

Predict will take place Sept. 16-17 at the MGM National Harbor, just outside of Washington, D.C. Conference speakers include Dr. Lindsey Piegza, Chief Economist of Stifel Fixed Income; Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM); and Jerry Howard, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders.

Trade Show Executive is a sponsor of CEIR Predict and regularly contributes research to the CEIR Index.

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 687-9242 or

TSE Data Center