Summarized by CEIR Research Director, Nancy Drapeau, PRC
During a record breaking Predict Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 14-15, 2016 the conference kicked off with a macro view of the global economy followed by a micro view of the exhibitions industry and a panel of two prominent association economists.
Updates on Performance of the Exhibition Industry
Because of a sluggish macroeconomy and declining corporate profits, the Index slowed to a modest year-on-year gain of 1.6%, lower than 3.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 2.6% in the first quarter of 2016. This slowdown is attributed to a slight decline in attendance, particularly in the energy related events, which is a sub-sector of Raw Materials and Science sector. The culprit is the drop in oil prices, which has negatively impacted the Raw Materials and Science Sector as off-shore oil production and drilling-related events plummeted. Had the number of attendees of Raw Materials and Science exhibitions stayed the same as a year ago, the growth of Attendees for the overall exhibition would have been 2.4%, which would, in turn, would have push the Total CEIR Index to 2.2%.
On the upside, the most positive gains in the industry are found in the Food; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; and Government sectors.
CEIR President Brian Casey notes that GDP in the first half of 2016 has sustained inventory corrections and declines in non-residential business investment resulting in lower than forecast growth, though the outlook for 2017 and 2018 is more positive as oil prices stabilize and consumer spending continues to remain the main engine of growth. It is anticipated that real GDP will achieve 1.7% growth for the year in 2016 and sustain greater growth around 2.5% in 2017 and 2018. Total CEIR Total Index should gain about 2.0% in 2016. As the economy strengthens, the Total Index should rise by another 2% to3% in both 2017 and 2018.
New Calculators Available for Organizers
Two new tools offer organizers a way to communicate the power of their events, their economic impact and performance compared to CEIR Index industry benchmarks. These tools are accessible at no cost. Executives are encouraged to visit and evaluate these calculators and provide feedback to CEIR. Event organizer participation helps enhance the robustness of the data collected!
Stay tuned in the coming months for additional recaps from the 2016 conference.