US exhibition industry on a high

Trade exhibition growth in the United States has reached an eight-year high

AMERICAS – Trade exhibition growth in the United States has reached an eight-year high, despite severe winter weather that kept attendees indoors, a new industry report shows.

The latest Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) index reveals North America’s exhibition industry grew 4.6 per cent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2015.

The index tracks annual changes in four key metrics. The strongest growth was in real revenue, which was up 7.3 per cent, while net square feet sold increased 4.1 per cent, exhibitor numbers were up 3.3 per cent and attendees increased 3.7 per cent.

CEIR economist Allen Shaw, of Global Economic Consulting Associates, said: “The performance in the first quarter was remarkable considering that the east coast was frequently paralysed under severe winter weather.

Philadelphia under the snow
Philadelphia under the snow (Photo: Bruce Emmerling)

Analysts measure activity in 14 sectors, which all reported growth, but the strongest gains were in building, construction, government, and home and repair.

"We are very encouraged to see that the exhibition industry is continuing its upward climb,” said CEIR president and chief executive Brian Casey.

Casey said that while industry growth had been moderate, the strong first-quarter performance was encouraging.

"After two challenging recessions, it's wonderful to see this kind of performance despite the impact of weather," Casey added.

The results showed the first-quarter marked the 19th consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth for the industry.