UFI Reports Asia at the Forefront of Trade Show Rebound With 4.3% Growth in 2010

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Paris, France — The trade show industry in Asia has bounced back from the recession at a quicker pace than the U.S. exhibition industry, according to a new report that reveals the Asian trade show market grew 4.3% in 2010. In comparison, the U.S. exhibition industry declined 2.4% in 2010, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) Index Report.

The latest edition of the annual report on Asia’s trade show market by UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, concluded that exhibit space sold had reached 15.5 million net square meters (166.84 million net square feet). That’s nearly double the 8.1 million net square meters (87.18 million net square feet) reported in the first UFI analysis published in 2004.

“Since 2004, net square meters sold have nearly doubled and venue capacity has more than doubled,” said Paul Woodward, managing director of UFI. “We expect this trend to continue through 2012 and beyond.

In 2011, UFI predicts the strong regional economy and the solid supply of modern venues in Asia will push exhibit space past 16 million net square meters (172.22 million net square feet). China is expected to account for nearly 9 million net square meters (96.87 million net square feet).

The growth in Asia led an overall upturn in the global exhibition industry. The latest Global Barometer Survey released in July reported that a majority of the 194 organizers surveyed were back in the black in terms of anticipated profits for 2011.

Asia barely broke its stride as the recession settled in. Asian companies reported profitable performances in late 2009, followed by the Americas and Europe last year. By the time the Barometer was completed in June, 65% of organizers in Asia considered the recession to be behind them compared with about 50% in North America and Europe.

“While some concern remains about potential economic fragility, the continuing growth in turnover in all regions is definitely good news,” Woodward said.

Reach Paul Woodward at (33) 1 46 39 75 15 or pw@ufi.org