Industry Updates

CEIR Semiannual Data Shows Even Tracking with GDP and 2.0% Increase

25 Sep 2012

- for Exhibition Industry Positive Outlook Shared at Annual Predict Conference for Next Three Years

Today, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that the overall exhibition industry gained 2.3% during the first half of 2012 even with GDP. The CEIR Index also reports a quarterly increase of 2.0 percent, making this the eighth quarter of consecutive growth for the exhibition industry.

Given the continued fluctuating state of the global economy, this is positive news and was a focal point during Predict: CEIR's Annual Outlook Conference held on 13 September in New York City.  More than 120 C-Level executives from the exhibition industry and the local financial community attended the live event.

For the first time this year, CEIR offered the final two sessions of Predict to an online audience, which was open to anyone, and by the close of the day, nearly 200 individuals had registered to participate in the online event which is available on demand for the next three months.

CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., Chief Economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates, Inc. notes, "For the past 18 months, the exhibition industry has shown remarkable resiliency during one of the worst global economies in recent history.

Compared to the first six months of 2011, the growth of the CEIR Index has steadied to 2.3%, in line with GDP at the same rate of growth. Based on this data and knowing that exhibitions reflect the sectors and industries they support, it is likely that the exhibition industry will continue to see positive growth in the near term."

Continued growth is projected for 2012, and predictions through 2014 were presented by CEIR President and CEO Doug Ducate, CMP, CEM, at CEIR Predict. During this high-powered event, C-level executives from both the exhibition and financial industries came together for an idea share to learn from expert panelists about the trends and projections for the CEIR Index's 14 industry sectors and the impact of the global economy on each of them.

CEIR Chairman and Executive Vice President, Conventions & Business Operations, National Association of Broadcasters Chris Brown said, "The overall consensus among the speakers was that the current economic outlook for the exhibition industry is strong for most industry sectors, but some lingering global economic uncertainty and the impact of the pending presidential election in the U.S. should be carefully considered for long-range planning." A complete overview of the CEIR Predict program and speakers can be found on

Throughout the discussion at Predict, there was considerable focus on the second quarter. Specifically quarter-to-quarter comparison results were slightly lower than the first quarter of 2012 but increased slightly over the same period in 2011. It was noted that the exhibition industry experienced an overall increase of 2.0 percent when compared to the same quarter of the previous year marking, eight consecutive quarters of growth.

During Predict, attendees gained insight from listening to their colleagues, banking and finance experts and M&A professionals. While discussing the current economic conditions of the exhibition industry, Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater was asked for his perspective about manufacturing as a leading indicator for emerging from a recession as historical trends have indicated, and he noted, "We are optimistic that our sector will continue its recovery after being hard hit during the Great Recession.

We are seeing continued signs of recovery in the outlook for our sector and expect that trend will continue barring any catastrophic impact that would affect our long-range goals. We continue to see record exhibit space numbers to date for our CONEXPO -CON/AGG exhibition and that excitement continues to build as our markets recover."

The key tool used at Predict was the 2011 CEIR Index, released in April, which reported that the overall exhibition industry had hit bottom in 2009, and that the industry should continue to see a modest recovery during the next three years in all metrics across most sectors. Attendance at exhibitions is a leading factor in the economic recovery and has now shown consistent growth for the past eight quarters.

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. The CEIR Index provides exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods; Discretionary Consumer Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.

All parallel indicators of recovery of Net Square Feet, Exhibitors, Attendees and Real Revenues showed increases. Net square feet of exhibit space sold showed an increase of 1.1 percent, Exhibitors increased by 1.0 percent, Attendees increased by 4.3 percent and Real Revenues increased by 1.5 percent. For more information about CEIR Predict or to purchase The CEIR Index, an Analysis of the 2011 Exhibition Industry and Future Outlook report, contact Cathy Breden, CAE, CMP, executive director of CEIR at or +1 (972) 687-9201.

Visit to learn more and watch the online event on demand.

About CEIR
CEIR serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position. For additional information, visit

Susan Brower, CMM, CCP
+1 (972) 687-9207