Globex report predicts exhibition market to return to pre-Covid size by 2023

The 13th edition of Globex- the global exhibition organising market: assessment and outlook to 2023- has been released by AMR International, the strategy consultancy firm. It details the devastating impact of Covid-19 on 2020-21 and provides market projections to 2023.

Carole Boletti, editor of Globex 2021, stated: “The impact of the Covid crisis has exceeded most expectations, therefore the outlook beyond 2021 remains uncertain to some degree. For 2021, we forecast the market to be valued at US$14.8bn, still 49% lower than 2019. Looking ahead, AMR forecasts that by 2023, the global exhibition market should rebound to 96% of its 2019 size.”

Some of the report highlights include:

Covid-19 impact assessment on 2021

  • The primary driver of revenue loss in 2021 is continued reduced volume sales. In many major markets, Covid-led restrictions have prohibited face-to-face exhibitions from taking place in H1 2021, culminating in a decline in Net Square Metre (NSM) volumes by 50-80% compared to 2019.
  • Weakened NSM pricing has also driven revenue loss. Across all markets, AMR anticipates minimal price hikes in 2021 with organisers offering incentives to exhibitors to attend post-Covid shows which are generally smaller and with increased scrutiny around Return on Investment (ROI).
  • There is significant variation between the recovery of different exhibition markets. The least negatively impacted market is China, whereas the largest declines will come in Southeast Asia.

Recovery projections to 2023

  • Each country will respond to the pandemic differently. Globex anticipates that China will fully recover by 2022 and exceed its 2019 size by 2023.
  • The US market is expected to achieve full recovery by 2023 due to its low exposure to international participants and relatively early resumption of in-person events.
  • Other markets such as France, India and Mexico are forecast to remain slightly below their 2019 size by 2023.
  • The trend towards more digital services provided by exhibition organisers will persist and serve to complement and extend physical exhibitions. Globex believes that digital revenue will grow strongly at 28% CAGR between 2020 and 2023.

Boletti added: “While the Covid crisis has severely disrupted the exhibition industry, it is at the same time benefitting from some organisers’ refreshed perspective on their markets and accelerated digital developments. However, we are yet to witness major breakthroughs.

“Forward-looking organisers are investing in the enhanced role of digital in their strategies and are embarking on substantial digital transformation. Others are still planning to rely solely on traditional events and revenue streams in the medium term. As we had forecast a couple years ago, we are seeing the start of a bifurcation of the industry.”

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