COLOGNE — In his preview of the new release of the annual Global Industry Performance Review, Jochen Witt, President & CEO of jwc GmbH, shed some light on the widespread global losses the industry has faced in the past year, as well as the role China and omnichannel events will play in its recovery.
The 200-plus page research report analyzes the top 40 exhibition company financials, as well as global and regional market trends. New for 2021, owners of the report can discuss the findings with jwc experts in an exclusive digital event series starting in June.
GIPR Results Highlights
Six months of research efforts went into compiling this year’s version, and Witt shared some of the highlights during a webinar earlier this week. Among them:
- The Chinese market will drive the growth in the industry. Right now, 19 venues are under development. Venue capacity in China has doubled in the past 10 years, as has organizer revenue. “The momentum of the Chinese market has been broken from this crisis but it will be back pretty quickly,” said Witt. “It is the biggest consumer market in the world.”
Related. Lessons From a Year of Online Events
- Macroeconomic indicators were used to compare how each region of the world performed during the crisis. They show the U.S. is experiencing a V-shaped recovery “driven by the amount of money the government has put into the recovery,” said Witt. “If you view expenditures as a percentage of GDP, the numbers are significant.”
- Trade show markets like the U.S and UK, which are heavily domestic, will be the first to recover, while Africa and parts of Asia and South America that will not be fully vaccinated until 2023 will be the last. “This means we will have to continue to live with high levels of hygiene at our shows for some time,” said Witt.
- In Europe, the German trade show business has been hardest hit because it is highly international and dependent on travel, which will continue to be affected for the next two to three years.
- Corporate revenue losses have been record-breaking across the board and far exceed those during the financial crisis, said Witt. “The losses have been huge. This is the first time in 50 years that the trade show industry revenue development has decoupled from the GDP.”
This year’s report devotes 60 pages to digital events, which Witt sees as a positive for the industry, enabling organizers to extend their events year-round, broaden their reach, and strengthen customer relationships and communication. He also sees the digital platform as the best setting for some aspects of live shows, such as matchmaking. “Let’s get away from looking for the immediate monetization of digital events and take a longer view,” he said. “We have huge opportunity to digitally empower our shows.”