In line with its economists’ projection, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) announces the performance of the exhibition industry significantly improved during the fourth quarter of 2013 with a year-on-year increase of three per cent compared to just 0.4 per cent increase in the third quarter of the same year. This is an exciting and promising result considering there was only a 0.7 per cent increase in the fourth quarter of 2012. This marks the fourteenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth and the highest increase since the first quarter of 2012 which reported 3.2 per cent at that time. Additionally, the exhibition industry turned the corner and outperformed the macro economy as real GDP gained 2.7 per cent year-on-year during the same period.
“With the fourth quarter’s results and 14 consecutive quarters of growth, and our predictions closely matching outcomes, we are confident in the continued growth and progress of the industry. The exhibition industry has survived and emerged from the Great Recession and we are confident that the upswing will continue,” says CEIR’s economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “Additionally, in line with our expectations as published in the 2012 CEIR Index Report, the Total Index increased by a modest one per cent for 2013 for the year as a whole, just slightly below the 1.1 per cent forecasted growth.”
As an objective measure of the annual performance of the exhibition industry, the CEIR Index measures year-over-year changes in four key metrics to determine overall performance: Net Square Feet of Exhibit Space Sold; Professional Attendance; Number of Exhibiting Companies; and Gross Revenue. The strongest metric in the fourth quarter was Professional Attendance, which jumped 5.8 per cent year-on-year, the biggest gain since the third quarter of 2007. Exhibitors and Real Revenues rose 3.0 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively. Net Square Feet was the only metric that suffered a year-on-year decline, dropping by 0.5 per cent.
The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.
CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM, noted, “Performance varied by industry, and the top performing sector was Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs (ID) where the index increased by 6.9 per cent. In contrast, the weakest sector was Government (GV), where the index declined. This was not surprising since the industry was negatively affected by government budget cuts impacting trade shows.”
The full 2013 CEIR Index with three-year projection will be released in April.