The exhibition industry is an important global economic driver, creating a total output of €275 ($325) billion in business sales annually, thus being on a par with sectors such as machine tools or medical and surgical equipment.
This total global economic impact has now been calculated for the first time by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, who worked with Oxford Economics to produce the “Global Economic Impact of Exhibitions” report, which was also supported by SISO (Society of Independent Show Organisers).
Based on UFI exhibition metrics, the model developed by Oxford Economics provides results for the world and also regional data for Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
The report shows the far-reaching impact of the exhibition sector, which generates €68.7 ($81.1) billion in direct GDP and contributes a total economic impact of €275 ($325) billion. This ranks the sector as the 56th largest economy in the world, larger than those of countries such as Hungary, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador.
In 2018, approximately 32,000 exhibitions directly involved 303 million visitors and over 4.5 million exhibitors across more than 180 countries. Europe was the largest market in terms of visitors, welcoming 112 million in 2018. This represents 37% of global exhibition visitors in 2018. North America ranked second, with 91 million visitors, followed by the Asia-Pacific with nearly 82 million visitors.
In terms of total GDP, North America ranked first with over €78.2 ($92.3) billion of total GDP attributable to the exhibitions sector. This accounts for nearly 47% of the sector’s global impact. Europe followed with €48.6 ($57.3) billion of total GDP, representing 29% of the sector’s global impact.
The text/image source: Expodatabase, official website UFI