UFI survey signals growth for global exhibition industry

UFIThe latest findings from the UFI’s 10th Global Barometer survey confirm that the exhibition industry continues to grow with a majority of companies reporting increased turnover for 2012.

The UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, research suggests a clear shift between the two regions which had demonstrated a strong recovery in 2010 and 2011 with an average of 80 per cent of companies increasing turnover. For 2013, the Asia/Pacific region now anticipates a slowdown in growth levels to the same level as Europe and the Middle East/Africa regions where 60 per cent of companies experience turnover increases. The slower growth noted in 2012 in the Americas now appears to have reversed itself. The region is showing the highest proportion of companies anticipating an increase in turnover for 2013. The Americas are currently the only region to declare that the impact of the “economic crisis” on their exhibition business is now behind them. However, in terms of annual profit only four companies out of 10 in all regions have announced an increase of over 10 per cent in profits in 2012.

The current survey reveals that industry concerns remain constant with “general economic considerations”, followed by “local competition” and “internal management challenges” at the top – 75 per cent of the organisations surveyed include the development of new business activities among their strategic objectives.  Of significant interest is the expectation of 54 per cent of those surveyed to expand exhibition operations to new countries.

Paul Woodward, UFI managing director, comments: “While Asia/Pacific has been the main growth area since 2010, the situation there is shifting with slower growth expected in 2013. Current projections indicate that the highest exhibition industry growth should be achieved in the Americas during the next 12 months. As a whole, the industry remains remarkably dynamic proving that the exhibition media qualifies as one of the top marketing tools for companies aiming to develop their business.”