The annual live events industry survey, The Facts 2011 - commissioned by the AEO and carried out by Vivid Interface shows an industry coping fairly well with the economic downturn and beginning to recover more quickly than other marketing disciplines.
Within the results, though, it is clear that the exhibition industry has had to adjust its tactics to cope with less money in the market. So, despite the increase in exhibiting companies, trade show organisers tended to book on average 5.8% less event space in exhibition halls in 2010, compared to 2009. This resulted in a 7.1% increase in space within trade shows then being used up – so the shows themselves appeared more full.
Consumer shows fared a little worse, but again no major crash, with a 0.7% drop in exhibitors in 2010.
Overall, 2009’s reported fall in exhibition visitor numbers appears to be slowing and the market is looking more rosy in 2011.
"In the 2010 report of 2009 events, we were reporting attendance declines for both trade and consumer events; declines that appeared to be influenced mainly by adverse economic conditions," said Vivid Interface managing director Geoffrey Dixon.
"In 2011, reporting on 2010 events we can see a significant reduction in the rate of decline for ‘average’ trade event attendance while consumer event attendance continues to decline by around 3%. These declines are small in comparison to some other magazine and newspaper markets."
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