Industry report finds UK shows on the rise

The UK exhibition industry is showing clear signs of recovery with the number of shows held last year close to the record levels of 2000, according to the latest edition of UK Exhibition Facts.

The annual report said there were 855 UK shows in 2002, up from 823 the year before. In 2000, there were 868 shows. Attendance at trade and public events in 2002 rose 14% to 10.3m, compared with the year before.

UK Exhibition Facts is compiled by the Exhibition Industry Research Group, which is chaired by NEC Group corporate development director John Cole.

The findings are based on information from exhibition venues that have more than 2,000 sq m of space.

Cole said: "This is a robust performance by exhibitions especially when compared with the pain being felt by other marketing techniques such as TV advertising and newspapers."

He added that shows were proving invaluable for marketing and sales departments.

"We have stood our ground at a time when companies are cutting budgets because face-to-face contact with the promise of securing business makes exhibitions important for sales divisions," he said.

The report also states that international visitors to UK trade shows accounted for 9.5% of reported visitors in 2002. Overseas exhibitors represented 18% of those in the report.

Cole said: "This is a significant figure in that it is higher than was forecast. It shows that where there is the possibility of doing business, people will travel."

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