Convention and Trade Show Management

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 5,200 convention and trade show management services in the US charge fees to plan, organize, promote, and manage a variety of events, including business shows, trade shows, conventions, conferences, and meetings. General Service Contractors (GSC), which coordinate the set-up and tear-down of trade shows, generate the majority of revenue and profits from material handling fees charged to exhibitors.

Competition from Digital Communications

Conventions and trade shows compete with alternative and more flexible forms of communication, such as video conferences, webinars, and other digital vehicles.

Uneven Cash Flow

Demand for convention and trade show organization services varies throughout the year, and depends on the frequency, timing, and location of events.

Industry size & Structure

The average convention and trade show management services provider works out of a single location, employs 8 workers and generates $3-4 million annually.

    • The convention and trade show management services industry consists of about 5,200 firms that employ about 42,800 workers and generate about $18.7 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for about 48% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Freeman and Viad Corporation. Large firms may have international operations.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Convention and Trade Show Management Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Coronavirus Update

                                    Apr 21, 2022 - Uncertainty About Event Attendance Continues
                                    • One-third of business travelers are unsure or expect to travel less to attend conferences, conventions, and tradeshows in the next 6 months than before COVID-19, according to a Q1 2022 business travel tracker from J.D. Power and the US Travel Association. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of business travelers plan to take more trips to attend conferences, conventions, and tradeshows than they did pre-pandemic.
                                    • Respondents to marketing industry news site MarTech’s Event Participation Index gave the likelihood they would attend an in-person business event in the first half of 2022 a 5 out of 10. That outlook improved slightly for the second half of 2022, when marketers gave the likelihood a 6 out of 10. Respondents cited the rise of new variants like Omicron and the reluctance by many to get vaccinated against the virus as key reasons for their lower near-term optimism. MarTech has thus far conducted eight surveys to create the Events Participation Index, and a clear pattern has emerged: When asked about the likelihood of attending events more than 6 months away, respondents were always more optimistic. But each time those far-away dates got closer, their comfort level fell. MarTech says that, for event planners, the optimism that prospective attendees have when registering may not be there come event time.
                                    • About 84% of companies in the US, Europe, and Asia that were surveyed by Bloomberg plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic. Firms including Pfizer, Michelin, LG Electronics, HSBC Holdings, Hershey, Invesco, and Deutsche Bank AG are among those indicating that travel will be reduced. A majority of the respondents cutting travel budgets expect reductions of between 20% and 40%.
                                    • Telecommuters are eager to return to in-person meetings and conventions, according to a survey by APCO Insight. The survey finds that even after adapting to the new digital workplace, 81% of professionals who attended in-person meetings and conventions before the pandemic miss doing so and would be just as likely—if not more likely—to attend in-person conferences, conventions, trade shows and other business events in the future. When asked if convention centers and event venues should be eligible for federal support and funding, 45% of Americans agreed, whether they attended in-person meetings and conventions prior to the pandemic or not.
                                    • Industry experts say that declining revenue may affect the future development of the convention and trade show industries. Many cities fully or partly finance the construction and operation of convention hotels to compete for events, according to the New York Times. Financing is often in the form of bonds backed by the hotels' income, as well as revenue from hospitality and tourism taxes. Declining revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak could cut the budgets of cities that used bonds to finance the construction of the hotels with the hopes of attracting more visitors.
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