Exhibitions drive economic recovery: Generati...
Exhibitions drive economic recovery

Generating business sales of €493 billion annually

Photo: UFI

Exhibitions, commonly referred to as trade shows or fairs, have a simple purpose: bringing industries together to build community and create supply chain opportunities. But the industry itself is not a simple one at all: with over €493 ($551) billion in business sales for attendees, exhibitions have an incredible impact on the global economy.

In addition, expenses of visitors and exhibitors generate a total impact of €299 ($334) billion for both the value chain of the exhibition industry (organisers, venues and service providers) and the tourism-related activities (accommodation, food and travel).

In the wake of a pandemic that has left commercial sectors and regional economies on the brink of collapse, trade platforms offer an opportunity to rebuild supply chains that have remained relatively stagnant throughout the pandemic, bringing buyers and sellers together to network, do business, learn and innovate at a time when they need it most. Notably, 80% of exhibitions' customers are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hit hardest by the pandemic, equating to nearly 4.25 million small businesses who regularly turn to in-person trade platforms to meet qualified product buyers.

UFI, the global association of the exhibitions industry, notes. "the business events industry is a 'meta-industry': It empowers literally each and every industry globally through the market places and meeting places that it operates around the world – from machine tools in Australia to consumer goods in Europe, from construction materials in Asia to consumer electronics in North America".