The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has been putting together a performance index of the various industry sectors for 12 years now. This year they put together an infographic that shows how key indicators (attendees, exhibitors, square footage, revenue) stack up for each market niche, and includes some predictions on how things may be going in those niches over the next few years (click on the graphic to enlarge it to an almost readable size).
So if you're in the consumer goods/retail trade, food, or government sector, pull out your shades because things are getting brighter all the time for trade shows in those areas. Healthcare, which happens to be my niche, is looking a lot iffier. We'll have to see how this all plays out to see if they're right or not, but it's interesting.
(Thanks to Defying Convention for the pointer!)