Attendees, Exhibitors Spend $70 Billion at Trade Shows

Attendees and exhibitors combine to spend almost $70 billion on trade show-related expenses each year, according to a new report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).

Broken down, attendees account for the majority of the spending with $44.8 billion while exhibitors total $24.5 billion. The estimates were based on spending levels in 2012 and reflect more than 11,000 shows in the U.S. with at least 3,000 net square feet of paid space and a minimum of 10 exhibitors.

“These direct spend estimates clearly communicate the power of the business-to-business exhibition industry in making a substantial contribution to the U.S. economy,” says Brian Casey, CEIR’s CEO. “Direct spending fuels business for exhibition organizers and suppliers as well as the travel and tourism industries. All this commerce helps local, regional and U.S. economies which translates into job retention and job creation.”

Nancy Drapeau, research director for CEIR adds: “These two documents offer invaluable data to help cities evaluate and compare the economic impact of exhibitions looking to hold their events in their communities. They also offer a useful tool for exhibition organizers aiming to make the case of the economic impact their event offers prospective host cities when striving to book dates for their events.”

Data for the reports was drawn from CEIR and was compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Posted by Michael Rondon

Michael Rondon is a senior editor for Expo. Reach him @Mike_Rondon or View all articles by Michael Rondon →