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2021 CEIR Index Report now available

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The CEIR Index Report provides data on the U.S. B2B exhibition industry across 14 key sectors.

DALLAS - The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the 2021 CEIR Index Report, which analyzes the 2020 business-to-business (B2B) exhibition industry performance and provides an economic and exhibition industry forecast for the next three years.

“The past 20 months have been a real struggle for the exhibition industry, and there remains a great deal of uncertainty,” said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM. “Exhibition organizers have demonstrated through health and safety measures that our events can be safely held. It is through data gathered for the Index that CEIR is able to generate economic impact figures related to the U.S. GDP. This economic impact of the exhibition industry is important for telling our story on the effect of shows to the U.S. economy.”

“The CEIR Index Report is absolutely essential to the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance’s (ECA) advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and nationwide,” added ECA Vice President of Government Affairs Tommy Goodwin. “Each year, the Index has the up-to-date data that we need to demonstrate to federal policymakers that the business-to-business exhibitions industry is an economic engine that drives jobs and commerce from coast to coast."

The CEIR Index Report provides data on the U.S. B2B exhibition industry across 14 key sectors. 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 (NSF) of exhibit space sold; professional attendance; number of exhibiting companies; and gross revenue. The 14 industry sectors are:

  • Business Services (BZ)
  • Consumer Goods and Services (CG)
  • Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services (CS)
  • Education (ED)
  • Food (FD)
  • Financial, Legal and Real Estate (FN)
  • Government (GV)
  • Building, Construction, Home and Repair (HM)
  • Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs (ID)
  • Communications and Information Technology (IT)
  • Medical and Health Care (MD)
  • Raw Materials and Science (RM)
  • Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment (ST)
  • Transportation (TX)

A forecast update of the CEIR Index Report was presented at the CEIR Predict conference held 13-14 September 2021 at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. This year’s conference focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry so far, as well as a post-pandemic outlook and possible scenarios for the next three years. Click here to watch a video of key insights from that presentation.

“In the baseline scenario, impact of COVID-19 diminishes and the exhibition industry should see a dramatic rebound in 2022, exceeding 100% year-over-year increases in all 14 sectors, albeit from a low base in 2021,” said CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw, Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. “By the end of 2023, the exhibition industry is expected to fully recover. Nonetheless, performance by sector will diverge depending on its secular (long-term) trends and underlying macroeconomic conditions.”

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