Industry Performance Inches Higher in Q2

JAMIE BARTOSCH, SENIOR NEWS EDITOR
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Boosted by a strong economy, a moderate 1.6% increase was posted in the second quarter of 2018, and even more impressive numbers are expected in the second half of the year, according to The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

The index showed all exhibition metrics had positive year-over-year gains in the second quarter. Real revenues and attendees each jumped by 1.9%, NSF rose by 1.8%, and exhibitors increased by 0.7%, according to the index.

Despite these increases, the industry still underperformed in the macroeconomy, which was 2.9%. GDP drives performance of the overall exhibitions industry, so when the economy is healthy, so is the exhibitions industry.

“We do not believe at this time that the exhibitions industry underperforming GDP is a troubling sign,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE.

That’s because the economy and the industry are still growing. Several sectors showed robust year-over-year Q2 gains, including Government; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Sporting Goods, Travel and Amusement; and Raw Materials and Science.

The overall numbers were dragged down by Financial, Legal and Real Estates, and Education. They posted year-over-year declines.

Several industries have been in a secular decline, and until they stabilize, they will slow the industry’s overall growth, Breden said. Those declining industries are Business Services; Consumer Goods and Retail Trade; Education (ED); and Financial, Legal and Real Estate (FN).

“The secular, long-term downward trend in FN and ED outweighed their positive short-term macroeconomic factors during the second quarter. As a result, FN and ED declined,” Breden said.

Also still swirling in the background is uncertainty over possible trade wars and the political environment, which could impact the trade show industry, added CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., the Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

More insight into the numbers is available with the CEIR Event Performance Analyzer, a tool that measures how an event is performing in its sector and the  industry as a whole.

Reach Cathy Breden at (972) 687-9201 or cbreden@ceir.org