Exhibition Industry Enjoys Seventh Consecutive Quarter of Growth

In the first quarter of 2012, the exhibition industry grew by approximately 2.7 percent compared to the same period in 2011, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of industry growth, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which yesterday released the first-quarter results of its CEIR Index research report.

According to the report, the exhibition industry continues to outperform the overall U.S. economy, as real GDP increased 2 percent year-over-year during the same period.

"The first-quarter results are very promising. They show that the exhibition industry is on the upswing despite a sluggish economy," said CEIR economist Allen Shaw, Ph.D., who is chief economist for Global Economic Consulting Associates Inc. "With seven consecutive quarters of growth now, we are even more confident of our predictions for the exhibition industry."

The CEIR Index measures four exhibition industry metrics, including the number of exhibiting companies, which grew 1.5 percent in the first quarter; professional attendance, which grew 4.6 percent; revenue, which grew 1.5 percent; and net square feet of exhibit space sold, which grew 3.4 percent.

"The CEIR Index, released in March, reported that the leading indicator to look for in the exhibition industry recovery is an increase in professional attendance, and attendance in the first quarter continues to lead improvement with 4.6 percent growth in the first quarter compared to 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter in 2011," said CEIR President and CEO Doug Ducate. "This is a very good indicator that the exhibition industry is clearly emerging from the recession and may begin to see consistent growth for the foreseeable future."