The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has released its first-quarter index results, which show an overall increase of 2.7 percent across the exhibition industry compared with the same period in 2011. All four key metrics are up year-over-year: Attendance rose 4.6 percent and net square footage increased by 3.4 percent, while both exhibitors and real revenues were up by 1.5 percent. This is the seventh consecutive quarter the exhibition industry has shown growth. "The first-quarter results are very promising. They show that the exhibition industry is on the upswing despite a sluggish economy," says CEIR's economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates. "With seven consecutive quarters of growth now, we are even more confident of our predictions for the exhibition industry."