Concern for economic outlook moderated by positive financial results for global exhibition industry

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has released the results of its 8th Global Exhibition Barometer Survey.

Begun in 2009, the biannual survey assess the impact of the economic downturn by developing an industry “barometer” based on the perceptions of UFI members worldwide, and includes members of SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) for the USA, AFIDA (Asociacion International de Ferias de America) in Central and South America, and EXSA (Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa). The 8th edition is based on replies submitted from 49 countries and includes trends drawing on the results of previous surveys wherever possible.

The most striking conclusion from this 8th survey is that the positive growth recorded in 2010 and 2011 is now perceived as deteriorating with a majority of respondents in all regions declaring their business impacted by the economic crisis. The picture is less gloomy, however, when looking at gross turnover projections. While these are now considered flat in Europe, the outlook still remains solid in Asia/Pacific and the Americas and the Middle East/Africa regions continue to remain unaffected.

Operating profit results also appear to present a more positive picture. Reports on annual profits show that almost 50 per cent of the exhibition companies foresee increases of more than 10 per cent of profits in 2011. In a constructive vein, 82 per cent of respondents plan positive strategic development programs with almost 46 per cent venturing into virtual or live events, and 49 per cent entering new foreign markets.

Paul Woodward, UFI Managing Director, commented on the resilience of the exhibition industry, saying, “In trying times, our face-to-face media identifies new marketing opportunities to provide to our exhibitors and exhibition visitors. We may even, in 10 years’ time, look back on this era as one of positive developments.”

Survey results can be downloaded at The next Global Barometer Survey will be conducted by UFI in June 2012.

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