The global exhibition market growth accelerated in 2018, driven primarily by continued growth in the US, positive cyclical calendar effects in Europe and a robust performance in most emerging markets.
The 14 most significant exhibition markets generated $27.8bn in exhibition organising revenues in 2018, with the rest of the world’s contribution estimated at an additional c.$5.7bn. The total market grew by 5% in 2018 compared to 3.5% in 2017 and 4.5% in 2016.
The US remains the world’s biggest exhibition market, accounting for more than c.50% ($14.26bn) of the cumulative size of the 20 markets analysed ($28.6bn).
China, the second largest market, remained robust despite a slowdown in growth. Mexico, India and Indonesia continued to perform well above GDP. Other high-growth Southeast Asian markets are investing in improving venue capacity to meet increasing demand for exhibition space. Finally, other mature markets such as UK, France and Hong Kong maintained above-GDP growth in 2018.
The publisher forecasts steady market growth of 4% CAGR to 2023, provided that the global economic and political environment remains stable and resilient. Face-to-face will retain its importance as a critical channel for interaction between buyers, sellers and other market participants, with alternative (e.g. online) channels remaining mostly complementary, and in some cases becoming sources of enhanced visitor and exhibitor experience pre-, during and post-show.
High-growth markets such as Mexico, Indonesia and upcoming countries in Southeast Asia are expected to maintain strong growth in the mid-term. Mature markets will continue to grow modestly.
The organiser landscape remains fragmented and still offers considerable opportunities for international consolidation. However, the pace of industry consolidation has accelerated. Informa Markets is now the largest organiser worldwide, following its acquisition of UBM. ITE acquired Ascential Events in 2018 and Reed Exhibitions acquired Mack Brooks in early 2019. Clarion has become one of the largest organisers globally, with the acquisition of the events portfolio of US-based PennWell and its merger with Hong Kong-based Global Sources.
Parallel to their consolidation efforts, leading organisers are also tackling how they can ensure their continued success and that of their events in an environment which is becoming more challenging, and where alternative options are multiplying, from disruptive new entrants with hybrid formats and non sqm-dependent business models, to digital platforms and tools.
Exhibitions 2.0 is a set of principles and tools and a new way of working for organisers to guide and support their transformation: customer-centric and embracing technology. Exhibitions 2.0 has gained overwhelming support from senior management at the world’s leading organisers, as it provides a forward-looking, practical framework for the gradual transformation of the exhibitions industry.
At its core, it shifts the role of the organiser from punctual sales channel to 365 value creator. Forward-thinking organisers have the opportunity to drive value through a customer-first attitude that propels them towards Exhibitions 2.0. While organisers are taking small steps, the world around them continues to evolve. These drivers of change make Exhibitions 2.0 necessary for the sustainable success of the industry.
- Overall market size and growth
- Market size and growth by country
- Overall market development by country
- Volume development
- Price development
- Sector split
- Revenue split
- Exhibition 2.0
- Market forecast
- Venue landscape
- Acquisitions activity
- Top 10 international organiser profiles
- Informa Markets
- Reed Exhibitions
- Messe Frankfurt
- Messe München
- Deutsche Messe
- GL Events
- China - Hong Kong
- China - Mainland
- GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council
- Southeast Asia (excl. Indonesia)
- China - Macau
Each country chapter contains
- Market size and forecast
- Visitor and exhibitor dynamic
- Sector split
- Competitive dynamic
- Appendix (venue map, top 20 show KPIs and key organiser profiles)