Trade Show Industry Bouncing Back with Growing Attendance

The trade show industry is experiencing the highest attendance levels since the 2008 recession.  Steven Hacker, president of the International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE) spoke in Colorado last month at the meeting of the Convention Industry Council about the trade show industry and trends.  In an interview he answered a number of questions including the below -

Question: Is the trade show and exhibition industry recovering?

Answer: Our industry is a mirror of all of the industries it serves. Trade shows for the construction industry are doing very poorly. The National Automobile Dealers Association trade show is about half the size it was in 2007 because the number of dealers has been reduced by half. But the wind energy industry is only 3 years old and is already going gangbusters — 20,000 attended the industry’s trade show last August in Dallas. My organization measures metrics across 14 industry sectors and they show that sports, entertainment and travel are doing very well, while government services is not doing well because local governments are reducing services due to budget problems. There are just over 10,000 trade shows per year and if you take all of the metrics for the entire industry, we have recaptured all of the business lost in 2008 and have grown twice as fast as the overall economy in each of the past six quarters.


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