Events Industry Forecast: Exhibitions Evolve, Grow

Author: Convene Editors       


According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute Report, 375 million jobs will vanish by 2030, replaced by automation and AI. However, some industries — like the drone industry — will continue to grow exponentially.

5 Future-Proof Industries

CNBC identified these industries at the beginning of 2019 as expected to grow alongside automation and AI — and continue to rise as populations age and new laws come into effect.

  1. Analytics and Big Data — PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that there will be 2.2 million data and analytics-related jobs posted in the U.S. in 2020.
  2. Cybersecurity — Cybersecurity Ventures estimates there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021.
  3. Health Care for the Aging — The UN estimates there will be 2.1 billion people over the age of 60 globally by 2050.
  4. Renewable Energy — The International Renewable Energy Agency reported that global jobs in the renew- able energy sector increased to more than 10 million for the first time in 2018, and expects there to be 28 million jobs in the industry by 2050.
  5. Drones—The drone industry is expected to hit $12.1 billion by 2021, creating an increased need for compliance and risk-management experts, fleet managers, operational experts, and mechanics.

Bonus: Cannabis — More than 30 countries have legalized medicinal marijuana, and some, including Canada, Mexico, and Uruguay, have legalized its recreational use. People with backgrounds in retail, finance, operations, agriculture, medicine, biochemistry, and law should take notice of opportunities in this burgeoning sector.

Source: CNBC

This post is part of Convene’s 2019 Events Industry Forecast looking at the future of technology, travel, lodging, and exhibitions.

The Global Exhibitions Market

  • Responsible for $197.5 billion in gross domestic product
  • 32,000 exhibitions held annually
  • 4.5 million exhibiting companies each year, attracting 303 million visitors
  • 3.2 million directly and indirectly supported jobs
  • Europe ranked first in terms of total visitors (112 million) and second in number of exhibitors (1.3 million).
  • North America had the highest number of exhibitors (1.6 million), and second-highest number of visitors (91.2 million).
  • Asia/Pacific came in third in both categories: 81.5 million visitors and 1.21 million exhibitors.
  • There are 1,217 venues with a minimum of 5,000 square meters (53,820 square feet) of gross indoor exhibition space.
  • The U.S. B2B trade-show market, worth $13.7 billion in 2016, is forecast to grow to $16.8 billion by the end of 2021.
  • 65% of brands say that events and experiential programs are directly related to sales.
  • $116 billion is the amount visitors and exhibitors together spend every year on exhibitions.

Sources: UFI Global; EventMarketer; Statista

Big Growth in Market Size

According to Technavio, the global exhibition organizing market size will grow by almost $8.32 billion during 2019-2023, at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of more than 5%. Year-over-year growth rate for 2019 is estimated at 4.71%. 43% of the growth will come from North America. The use of social-media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, WhatsApp, and YouTube is increasing significantly by exhibition organizers for campaigns and event invitations.

75% of respondents to a CEIR study gauging U.S.-based trade-show executive sentiment on trade tariffs said they have had a negative impact on the trade-show industry.

Source: Chart from CEIR
CEIR Index provides data on exhibition industry performance across 14 key industry sectors: Business Services; Consumer Goods and Services; Discretionary Consumer Goods and Services; Education; Food; Financial, Legal and Real Estate; Government; Building, Construction, Home and Repair; Industrial/Heavy Machinery and Finished Business Inputs; Communications and Information Technology; Medical and Health Care; Raw Materials and Science; Sporting Goods, Travel and Entertainment; and Transportation.

The Globex 2019 findings [released in October] show that the global exhibition industry continues to be highly profitable, as face-to-face interaction remains strongly valued by exhibitors and visitors. We are cautious on some country forecasts given recent events but remain positive about the global industry over the medium term,’ said Florent Jarry, head of AMR’s global events practice, adding that ‘digital technologies are more likely to enhance events and the customer experience than replace them.’ ”

Florent Jarry, head of AMR's global events practice, adding that 'digital technologies are more likely to enhance events and the customer experience than replace them.' “Exhibition Industry Predictions 2019” by Info Salons

The Shenzhen International Convention and Exhibition Center, expected to open in 2020 in China, will offer nearly 5.4 million square feet of exhibition space (500,000 square meters).

Top 5 Exhibition Industry Predictions 2019

  1. Artificial Intelligence — As attendees are becoming smarter, they expect more from their visit to a show, including a personalized visitor journey, hand-held introductions, and specific follow-up.
  2. Mixed Media — Augmented Reality on exhibit booths and digitally enhanced products on display increase attendee engagement and decrease landfill.
  3. Privacy vs. Security — This tug of war will continue until technology — possibly a distributed 4blockchain ID — will provide a solution.
  4. Facial Recognition and Voice Assistants — Facial recognition can be used to print badges, track attendee movement, or even judge sentiment analysis on the show floor or in session rooms. Voice-powered eventbots can answer questions, send information back to the office, and even take surveys.
  5. Asia on the Rise — Emerging markets, like China, are hosting huge exhibitions.

Source: Excerpted from “Exhibition Industry Predictions 2019” by Info Salons, a Freeman Company.

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