2016 Economic outlook for the trade show industry

EXHIBITOR published their 2016 Economic Outlook Survey to gather the opinion and expectations of about 400 event professionals in terms of the trade show industry.

The trade show industry has shown resilience these past years, with many businesses continuing to see the value of attending trade shows. There isn’t any major growth, but at least it is consistent and it is progressing. According to the International Monetary Funds, they mention that we can expect a growth of 3.6% during this year, compared to last year’s growth of 3.1%.

Even though the growth we’re seeing is very minimal, many professionals are still relatively optimistic about the success of trade shows. When asked, “How do you feel about the effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing medium?” 89% of those surveyed said hopeful or optimistic and only 11% said cautious and 2% said pessimistic.

When asked how confident they were that their trade show program would achieve better results in 2016 compared to 2015, 68% were confident that 2016 would achieve better results. On the other hand, only 1% were extremely doubtful, which is a great sign that companies will continue to exhibit at trade shows in 2016.

Trade show displays have always been a big part of the trade show experience and can either make or break the event. More than half of respondents have at least tentative plans to purchase a new exhibit in 2016, with 25 percent reporting definite plans to do so. Having a design that stands out and a new display helps in the overall optimism.

When asked how the trade show budget was allocated for most businesses, it was noted that 11% of the total budget goes to the exhibit design and construction. The majority of the trade show budget (35%) goes to the actual exhibit space at the event.

Contrary to what some will believe, there are still many businesses that attend trade shows and use it as a viable option to increase sales.

Below is the full data that was collected by Exhibitor Online:

Exhibitor Online 2016 economic outlook


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