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U.S. B2B exhibition industry GDP contribution and business sales generation grow along with its recovery


The 2024 CEIR Index Report reveals a 19.6% growth in the B2B exhibition industry for 2023, marking significant progress though still trailing 2019 by 11%.

DALLAS  The 2024 CEIR Index Report, published at the end of April, shows a positive outcome for 2023, reporting a continued recovery. Compared to 2019, the B2B exhibition industry grew from a value of 74.4 to 89.0 from 2022 to 2023, recording a 19.6% year-over-year gain. This is an outstanding improvement though the 2023 index reading still trailed 2019 by 11.0%.CEIR_CHARTIn parallel, CEIR reports continued gains on the industry’s positive impact on the U.S. economy in 2023, contributing:

  • $90 billion to US GDP, compared to $78 billion in 2022;
  • $161 billion in business sales, supporting 2.5 million jobs in 2023 (full- and part-time jobs plus self-employed persons). This is an improvement from 2022, when the industry contributed $138 billion in business sales and supported 2.2 million jobs.


CEIR economist Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company noted, “Though macroeconomic headwinds are expected to dampen future gains, the exhibition industry continues to press toward full recovery based on a resilient appetite for in-person business.”

CEIR CEO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM added further, “Federal policies that can help address high travel costs, visa wait times and other costs impacting the industry would help eliminate barriers that are a drag on the industry’s ability to fully recover.”

Industry stakeholders are encouraged to participate in upcoming advocacy activities by the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) Legislative Action Day and Global Exhibitions Day.

Explanation of Economic Impact Statistics:

  • The contribution consists of direct, indirect and induced effects of the business-to-business exhibitions.
  • Direct contributions include: direct goods and services purchased by exhibitors, attendees, exhibition organizers, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and capital expenditures by facility owners.
  • Indirect contributions include: input purchases to host an exhibition by organizers and suppliers’ inputs to produce goods and services purchased by exhibitors, attendees, DMOs and facility owners.
  • Induced contributions are increases in personal consumption expenditures due to increases in wages and salaries of workers of the exhibition industry and goods and services producers and suppliers.
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