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by Michael C. Lowe | February 22, 2012

According to the latest data from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the overall exhibition industry increased by 3.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, year-over-year. Revenue saw a 5.1 percent increase, net square footage rose 4.2 percent, attendees increased by 3.6 percent and the number of exhibitors was up 2.4 percent. "The positive momentum of the exhibition industry, which has experienced six consecutive quarters of growth, gives strong reassurance that the industry has emerged from the economic downturn and is making progress toward recovery," CEIR's economist, Allen Shaw, said in a statement. In addition, the exhibition industry rose 2.7 percent for the year as a whole, exceeding the 2.3 percent growth that was forecast. "We are very pleased with the results we are seeing," said CEIR president and CEO Doug Ducate. "The data continues to show a positive upswing and confirms the prediction of moderate growth made in last year's index. This is very positive for the industry and the individual sectors."