The exhibition industry declined 10.9 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year, performing slightly better than it did in the first quarter, when it declined 11.6 percent, according to the CEIR Index, published by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
Revenues continue to be the hardest hit, declining 16.9 percent in the second quarter, after dropping 19.7 percent in the first quarter. The number of exhibiting companies fell 12.8 percent, while net square footage of exhibit space dropped 10.1 percent in the second quarter—both slight improvements over the first quarter numbers. Professional attendance decreased 3.8 percent in the second quarter, compared to a 1.5 percent drop in the first quarter. All numbers are based on comparisons from the previous year’s quarter.
The first quarter declines were the worst for a single quarter since CEIR began tracking such data. With some economists predicting a recovery for the second half of 2009, while others forecasting a mid-2010 rebound for the hotel industry, the exhibition industry may already have hit bottom and be trending upward.