xhibition floor space sold

Asia – Exhibition floor space sold in Asia grew by 8.7 per cent in 2008, according to a new report released by industry association UFI.

Despite the weakening global economic environment, the net space sold by the region’s organisers reached a total of 14.3 million square metres, according to the fifth edition of UFI’s annual report on the Asian trade fair market.

The research, undertaken for UFI by Business Strategies Group in Hong Kong, shows that China’s growth continues to dominate the rest of the region. More than 7.6 million square metres were sold in China alone in 2008, accounting for 53 per cent of the total for Asia. It is the largest market in the region in terms of space sold and industry revenues, with net square metres sold growing by 14 per cent, year-on-year.

UFI managing director Vincent Gérard says 2008 was another ‘noteworthy’ year for the Asian exhibition industry. “Despite a challenging economic environment, space sales in the region as a whole grew by close to nine percent. Seven different markets posted double digit growth – and of those, four grew by more than 20 per cent.

However, a number of much smaller markets grew faster than China. Space sold in Macau expanded by 69 per cent on the back of the opening of the new venue at the Venetian. Taiwan grew by 26 per cent and Vietnam by 24 per cent, primarily driven by additional capacity.

Contrastingly, the region’s second largest market - Japan - shrank by more than six per cent last year with two million square metres sold.