June 01, 2018
Although it underperformed compared to the larger economy, the exhibition industry continued to expand during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which yesterday published the first-quarter results of its periodic CEIR Index research report.

According to CEIR's data, the exhibition industry posted a "decent" year-over-year again of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018. By comparison, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.2 percent.

"The increase in the first quarter supports our prediction that the exhibition industry will finally enter into an expansion phase in 2018 with the Total Index surpassing its previous peak," said CEIR Economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates Inc.

The CEIR Index measures year-over-year performance in four industry metrics, each of which saw growth in the first quarter: revenues, which grew 2.8 percent; net square feet of exhibit space, which grew 2 percent; attendance, which increased 1.8 percent; and exhibitors, which rose 0.7 percent.

CEIR also reported performance for exhibitions across 14 industry sectors. Strong performers included the building, construction, home, and repair sector; the industrial/heavy machinery and finished business inputs sector; and the government sector. Weak performers, meanwhile, included the consumer goods and retail trade sector and the education sector.

Said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden: "The first quarter of 2018 demonstrates that even in times when some sectors may be struggling, the total CEIR Index indicates the exhibitions industry is poised for steady growth."