Trade Shows Back on Track in Q1 2017

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Dallas — The quarterly Center for Exhibition Research Total Index was back in the black during the first quarter of 2017 with help from a rebound in trade shows catering to the Raw Materials and Science sector.

The Q1 Total Index published by the CEIR posted a 1.6% increase over the same period last year. And while it was not a particularly dramatic year-over-year increase, it was a definite improvement over the 0.4% decline posted in the fourth quarter of 2016; it also resumed a pattern of slow but steady growth seen over the previous 25 quarters.

“The increase in the first quarter validates our prediction that economic fundamentals still point to moderate growth for the exhibition industry,” said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

The Total Index is the result of crunching the quarterly metrics for exhibit space, number of exhibitors, attendance, and gross show revenues.

In the first quarter, revenues led the increases with a 2.3% bump followed by a 2.0% increase in exhibit space, 1.7% increase in attendance and 0.3% increase in exhibitors.

The 2017 rebound received a solid boost from reinvigorated shows in the Raw Materials and Science sector, which included the volatile oil industry. In 2016, Raw Materials and Science attendance plummeted 11.2% and dragged the entire sector down 7.3%. In Q1, attendance bounced back 11.4% while the entire sector, which included less-dramatic increases, charged to a 0.4% gain over last year.

Reach Allen Shaw at (484) 343-6411 or allens@gecainc.com