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Exhibition industry continues growth pattern, says CEIR

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Over the three years through 2014, the exhibition industry growth generally lagged the pace of GDP, but the industry has now outperformed the macro economy for three quarters straight, and by a wide margin.

DALLAS – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reported that after a sharp increase in both the first and second quarters, the performance of the business-to-business exhibition industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, remained relatively strong during the third quarter of 2015, posting a year-on-year gain of 3.1% (see Figure 1). This growth is the third highest rate since the second quarter of 2012. It also marked the 21st consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth. Over the three years through 2014, the exhibition industry growth generally lagged the pace of GDP, but the industry has now outperformed the macro economy for three quarters straight, and by a wide margin (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2011Q1-2015Q3


Figure 2: Quarterly CEIR Total Index for the Overall Exhibition Industry vs. Quarterly Real GDP, Year-on-Year Growth, 2008Q1-2015Q3
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"The strong growth of the CEIR Total Index during the first three quarters of the year, averaging 3.8%, and robust employment gains during the past three months should result in a stalwart performance of the exhibition industry for 2015 as a whole, as presented in the CEIR Predict conference held this past September," noted CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc.

All four exhibition metrics in the third quarter posted year-on-year gains. As was the case during the first and second quarters, the strongest metric was Real Revenues, which rose an impressive 4.6%. It was followed by Net Square Feet, with an increase of 3.3%. Exhibitors increased 2.9%, whereas Professional Attendance rose 1.6% (see Figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2015Q3


Figure 4: Quarterly CEIR Metrics for the Overall Exhibition Industry, Year-on-Year Growth, 2007-2015Q3


"We are very encouraged to see three very strong quarters of growth for the year," said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. "We will be watching with great interest how the year ends based on fourth quarter results, and anticipate growth to continue into 2016 and 2017."

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 CEIR Index provides data on 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 Outputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.

Predict: CEIR's Annual Outlook Conference was held 16-17 September 2015 at the JW Marriott in Chicago, Ill. The event provides an outlook on the global economy and the exhibition industry's performance.

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