The exhibition industry grew 2.4 percent in the first half of 2011, outperforming the overall U.S. economy, which grew 1.9 percent over the same period, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research.
“During the first half of 2010, the exhibition industry lagged the macro economy,” said CEIR economist Allen Shaw, PhD, chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates Inc., Springfield, Pa. In the second half of 2010 the exhibition industry finally emerged from the Great Recession, gaining 4.4 percent compared to the second half of the previous year. The momentum continues through the first half of this year. It is anticipated that growth will continue through 2011, CEIR officials said.
There have now been four straight quarters of growth in the industry. Looking at the most recent results, for the second quarter of 2011, the industry experienced an overall increase of 1 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2010. Net square feet of exhibit space sold jumped 2.8 percent, attendance increased 1 percent, and number of exhibitors was up slightly, 0.5 percent. Revenues declined 0.2 percent. In the first quarter, the industry gained 3 percent year-over-year.
Shaw will be one of the presenters at Predict, CEIR’s annual outlook conference, scheduled for September 15 in New York City. Shaw and economist Jeffrey Werling, PhD, executive director of Inforum, College Park, Md., will make exhibition industry predictions through 2013 and will discuss the impact that economic and political forces might have on exhibitions and events.