According to a press release I got this morning, reports of the trade show industry's impending demise (OK, slight exaggeration), widely disseminated in the Brookings Institute report that had IAEM, among others, in an uproar this spring, may be premature. A new analysis of events produced by ExpoExchange, Conferon, and ITS,
says it just ain't so. From the release:
The analysis compared year-to-year attendance figures for more than 200 events held annually in 2002, 2003 and 2004. (The 2002 baseline was 2.4 million attendees.) The
findings revealed that average attendance at these trade shows and association conventions grew at the rate of 2.2 and 2.7 percent in 2003 and 2004 respectively, and for shows held in the first quarter of 2005, attendance has grown to 4.24 percent. This climb exceeds the nation's 3.5 percent GDP growth rate for Q1.
"Events in the CGS Trade Show/Convention Attendance Index represent a wide cross-section of industries," said Bruce Harris, President, CGS. "There are clearly identifiable growth sectors as well as market segments that have struggled, but the breadth of the entire
sample offers an accurate snapshot of heightened trade show and convention attendance.
What's that I hear? Sounds a lot like, "nya na nya na nya, nya" to me. I know I'm a data point of one, but all the shows I've been to in the past few years seem to be doing just fine. Then again, they've been mostly medical-related, and I haven't heard anyone arguing that that particular segment is doing anything less than terrific despite the tough economy. Anyway, this sounds like some good news to partake of along with you morning coffee.