State of the Trade Show Industry

We are confident that the trade show industry will continue to grow and prove that face-to-face interactions are important in the business model.  While we strive to remain on the cutting edge of technology, creativity and service to our customers, we are mindful of the need for flawless execution in our business and are committed to expressing our core values through our work. This is why we are determined to make Display America an even more special place for our employees. We are committed to listening closely to their insights so that we may unleash their personal and professional potential for our customers and for the communities in which we work and live. We are grateful for the dedication of our employees and our relationships with our clients. It is that trust that motivates us to remain focused on the long-term and to pursue our quest to connect people in meaningful ways.

The CEIR Index Report was developed to provide an objective measure of the annual performance of the trade show industry. It is the leading industry resource tracking overall market performance of business-to-business exhibitions in the United States. It offers a valuable tool for strategic planning, benchmarking and evaluating business development opportunities. The report indicates that the growth forecast in the industry is expected to increase by 2.8% in 2018 before accelerating to 3% expansion in both 2019 and 2020. 

Reports from this landmark research offer exhibitors and organizers a comprehensive resource to help understand the range of attendee engagement tactics used on the exhibition floor and, more importantly, which of these tactics enjoy high attendee usage – a signal of high engagement. Success Stat: 94% of exhibitors use attendee engagement tactics to impact their overall important objectives for exhibiting. Results indicate that integrating attendee engagement tactics is effective in impacting outcomes for the better.

Originally published in 2014, the How the Exhibit Dollar is Spent report focuses on where exhibitors spend their marketing dollars on trade shows and provides insights to exhibitors, organizers as well as suppliers. The report helps exhibitors benchmark their spending allocations to industry norms and helps organizers and suppliers understand how much of the exhibitor dollar they are capturing. In 2017, exhibitor direct spending rose to $25.3 billion in nominal dollars.

As Display America looks forward to the coming years, we see a positive and profitable future for the event and trade show industry and our customers. We are optimistic for the performance of the industry overall and economic growth should continue to drive expansion in exhibitions and trade shows. A number of industries are expected to grow their events and exhibitions presence, including energy, healthcare, infrastructure and technology, which are all forecasted to grow roughly five percent over the next three years.

While technology will continue to be a key component moving forward, we know our customers aren’t just looking for the next big thing – marketers are demanding technology that offers real business value. Marketers are increasingly asked to step up to the plate to prove return on investment. CEOs, CMOs and CFOs are asking their marketing teams to justify the impact on the balance sheet with measurable results and reasonable returns on investment. At Display America, we believe that face-to-face marketing will remain viable, yet it is evolving. We are committed to crafting true brand experiences that provide a meaningful connection between our customers and their customers.

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