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The exhibition industry saw its best quarter in nearly two years, with attendance showing its biggest gain since 2007, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
The industry significantly improved during the fourth quarter of 2013 with a year-on-year increase of 3 percent compared to just a .4 percent increase in the third quarter of the same year. The industry showed only a .7 percent increase in the fourth quarter of 2012. This is the 14th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth and the highest increase since the first quarter of 2012, which reported 3.2 percent at that time. Also, the exhibition industry outperformed the macro economy as real GDP gained 2.7 percent year-on-year during the same period.
According to the CEIR Index, the strongest metric in the fourth quarter was Professional Attendance, which jumped 5.8 percent year-on-year, the biggest gain since the third quarter of 2007. Exhibitors and Real Revenues rose 3 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Net Square Feet was the only metric that suffered a year-on-year decline, dropping by just .5 percent.
The CEIR Index also measures exhibition industry performance across 14 industry sectors. The top performing sector was Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs, where the index increased by 6.9 percent. The weakest sector was Government, where the index declined, likely do to budget cuts affecting trade shows.
The full 2013 CEIR Index with three-year projection will be released in April. Details: CEIR CEO Brian Casey, CEM, firstname.lastname@example.org.