DALLAS – Trade show revenues increased 2.4% in the third quarter of 2018, outpacing overall industry growth for the period, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) said Dec. 6.
The overall growth rate for the industry ticked up a modest 1.0% higher compared to the third quarter of 2017, but CEIR predicted a strong finish for the year. “The growth of the exhibition industry should pick up the pace during the fourth quarter of the year and at least through the first half of next year,” said Allen Shaw, Chief Economist for both CEIR and for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “The economy remains strong despite uncertainties surrounding trade negotiations with China, the volatile stock market and slowing world economic growth.”
The 2017 Q3 results featured an overall (0.2)% decline from the year before.
The 2018 CEIR Index Report issued in April projected the overall growth rate for the entire 2018 year would hit 2.9% and 2.7% in 2019.
The increase in real revenues, which are adjusted for inflation, led the four metrics that made up the quarterly CEIR Total Index report released Dec. 6. Exhibit space grew 0.6% over the previous Q3, while exhibitors were up slightly by 0.1%, and attendance gained 1.1%.
CEIR said Q3 2018 was marked by year-over-year increases for shows in the Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Government, and Medical and Health Care sectors. On the other hand, Business Services; Consumer Goods and Retail Trade; and Education all posted declines.
“Anemic growth in the number of exhibitors is attributable in part to secular downward trends evidenced in these sectors,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden. “Until these sectors stabilize – and barring any other negative downward trends in the economy — the overall growth for the industry will remain modest.”