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Global Exhibitions: Revenue Projections for First Half of Year Fall Short of Expectations


Paris — UFI, the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, has released the latest edition of its biannual Global Barometer survey. One of the key findings is a weaker performance for the first half of 2019 in terms of revenue growth projections compared to 2018, although the overall trend for revenue remains positive. The report is based on survey data from a record 322 companies in 57 countries and regions, according to UFI.

“Six out of 10 companies globally expect a return to robust levels of turnover growth for the next 12 months, showing resilience against the weakening global economic growth,” UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf told Trade Show Executive. Despite the slowdown in revenue growth projections overall, many core markets in the world show consistently strong performance and growth opportunities, he added.

“The U.S. outperforms the global results in terms of revenue growth [projections] for all of 2019, as well as expectations for the first half of 2020,” Hattendorf said. He noted that the top concern “by far” of U.S. respondents is the global economy, with 32% of U.S. respondents citing this concern, compared to 21% citing the state of the U.S. economy as their top concern. Concern with the global economy is much higher among U.S. respondents relative to respondents in other countries and regions, Hattendorf said.

Here are other key findings from the Global Barometer survey:

• While a majority of companies in all regions, with the exception of Middle East/Africa, expect revenue increases for the two halves of 2019 and the first half of 2020, projections for the first half of 2019 appear to be weaker compared with recent years. Forecasts for the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2020, however, show a return to robust levels.

• Regarding operating profit, 80% of companies maintained a good level of performance in 2018, and more than 40% of companies declared an increase of more than 10% compared with 2017.

• Profits for 2018 remain at a good level, but fewer companies expect higher profits in 2019 compared to 2018.

• The state of the economy at home, global economic developments and competition within the industry remain the top three issues.

• China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S. are identified as the exhibition markets currently most advanced in digital transformation.

UFI’s Global Barometer survey has been measuring the pulse of the exhibition industry since 2008. The complete results of the most recent survey, a 65-page report that includes detailed analysis by region, can be downloaded at

Reach Kai Hattendorf at +33 1 46 39 75 00 or