Are exhibitions growing or shrinking in the present economic climate?

Turn the page of any newspaper and you’re presented with all sorts of doom and gloom about the state of the world economy.  Consequently, most people think that organisations are cutting back on marketing spend.

With the media hell bent on spreading negative stories, it’s always nice to read a ‘good news’ item.  One such piece of good news arrived in my Inbox today!

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, takes place every year at London ExCel.  It’s a vibrant ‘must attend’ four-day business-to-business event, where travel companies and tourist offices present a diverse range of destinations.

WTM exhibition banner

I’m pleased to report that there was a 5% increase in the number of visitors on the first day of the show with more exhibition stands than ever before.  This is significant because the first day of WTM is an exhibitor-invite only day. Overall, visitor numbers rose by 3% from the previous year – most of whom fly in from overseas!  What’s more, the show’s seminars saw a 12% increase in terms of participation.

And the good news doesn’t stop there.  The conference organisers have announced seven new half year mini-conferences around the world in destinations like Moscow, Beijing and Dubai.

“So what” you might be thinking…

For me this is significant.  Holidays and business travel are the first things to get scaled back in tough economic times.  And yet more business was written at this year’s WTM than ever before.

Looking at my own client base, I am seeing a similar picture.  My clients are investing more and more in their key events.  With a clear ROI, exhibitions and trade shows are still an integral part of many organisations growth strategies.

In conclusion, I really hope the world’s media read this post and take away some inspiration.  The world economy is certainly changing but with change brings opportunity.  An opportunity to start writing about some of the positive things perhaps!