UFI Global Barometer: Research confirms accel...
UFI Global Barometer

Research confirms accelerated recovery

Photo: UFI

The pace of recovery of the exhibition industry is quickening, after the continuing impact of COVID-19 throughout 2021. There is a strong belief that the sector, primarily driven by physical exhibitions and business events, will bounce back quickly, finds the latest edition of the UFI Global Barometer.

Global exhibition revenues are expected to reach 71% of 2019 levels in 2022, according to the research provided by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Globally, the industry expects two-thirds of markets to operate at normal levels in the second quarter, and one-quarter of the global market to operate at reduced activity levels.

The lift of travel restrictions is seen as the most important dimension for the "bounce-back" of exhibitions, as seven in ten companies view it. Overall, 53% of companies received no public financial support, and for the majority of those that did, financial public aid represented less than 10% of their overall costs.
„The perspectives for 2022 are brighter and continue to improve.“
Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO, UFI
"The sun is finally rising at the end of a long, dark pandemic", says Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO at UFI. "The perspectives for 2022 are brighter and continue to improve quickly. As the industry bounces back, the key issues now facing companies are around internal management issues and the impact of digitalisation. As the value of physical events is constantly reinforced, we are well on track to achieve pre-pandemic levels of activity".

Diving deeper into the results, "Internal management challenges" represents the key business issue across Australia, Argentina and Mexico (22% of respondents), Spain (21%), Colombia (20%), Thailand (19%) and South Africa (18%). In Germany, "Impact of digitalisation" is matched with "Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business" as the most pressing issue (20% of respondents).

The picture is different depending on the activity type of respondents. For organisers and venues, "Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the business" is the top issue (20% and 19% of respondents respectively), followed closely by "Internal management challenges" (18% for both categories) and "Impact of digitalisation" (17% and 14%).

About the UFI Global Barometer
The latest edition of UFI's biannual industry survey was concluded in January 2022 and includes data from 401 companies in 53 countries and regions. The study includes outlooks and analysis for 24 focus countries and regions – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US – as well as an additional five aggregated regional zones.