Reflections on Impact of Economy, Sequestration on Exhibitions

This post written by Doug Ducate, CEM, CMP
President and CEO
CEIR

 

The CEIR Index Report with data from 2012 is now available. After enjoying a strong first half with a 2.5% year-over-year increase that was on target to hit the 2.7% projection for the year, the second half of the year tanked, and in the end, the overall industry only grew 1.5%. Many reasons can be given such as the election that appeared to change nothing suggesting four more years of congressional bickering that will likely continue to stall progressive new programs; the threat of the “fiscal cliff” that loomed as the new year approached; and a dip in consumer spending all likely contributed to business pull backs.

And now we are one-third of the way into 2013 and things don’t look much better. Sequestration was implemented on schedule, and we have no idea how long it will last or how deep the effects will be felt. The debt ceiling issue is looming along with a new federal budget which will likely not be easily resolved. There is the hope of a “grand bargain” that might resolve all three problems but not likely in time to help exhibition performance in 2013. The CEIR Index Report does contain an alternative scenario should sequestration be eased and/or a grand bargain struck.

But regardless of how 2013 turns out, the outlook for 2014 and 2015 is surprisingly robust so the key may be to look to the future and hope for the best.

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