According to UFI: Asia Exhibitions Will Keep Growing into 2015

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Paris, France – The pace of growth in Asia’s trade show industry will slow down slightly this year, but the region will still top 18 million net square metres (nsm) of space sold, according to a study released in July by UFI: the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

The 10th annual Trade Fair Industry in Asia reportlooked at the 15 nations grouped together as Asia – including India, Australia and the Philippines – and projected space sales of 18.37 million nsm this year, a 5.7% increase over 2013. Last year, Asia’s growth rate was 6.6% over 2012, and space sold totaled 17.38 million nsm.

“The key growth drivers in 2014 will be, once again, strong performances by the trade fair markets in Southeast Asia and by the continued strength of the market in China,” said the report, which was produced for UFI by Business Strategies Group Ltd. in Hong Kong.

CHINA LEADS THE PACK

China will indeed remain the dominant force in the Asian exhibition industry. Last year, China hosted 565 trade shows covering an estimated 9.72 million nsm. That accounted for 55% of the total exhibit space sold in Asia. Japan was a distant second with 329 shows and 1.97 million nsm, or 11% of the space sold in Asia. Hong Kong was third with 109 events and 906,000 nsm.

Based on exhibit space sold, China grew 8.8% in 2013, its sharpest increase since 2008. Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand together grew a combined 6.6% while Japan chugged along with a 2.3% growth rate.

The boom times in China are at least partly fueled by the country’s recent convention center building spree. China currently has  nearly 70% of the venue capacity in the entire region, and is bringing two new convention centers on line this year and another in 2015 with a total capacity of 630,000 nsm. China will have an inventory of 106 exhibition centers by the end of 2014 with a total of 4.85 million gross square meters of exhibition space. That’s well beyond second-place Japan, which has 13 convention centers totaling 355,668 gross square meters of space.

BROAD BASE

An encouraging finding in the report was the wide range of industry sectors that have contributed to the overall growth of trade shows in Asia. “The segmentation of space sales by industry has remained quite consistent,” the summary said.

Engineering/industrial goods was the top category in 2013 with more than 1.8 million nsm of exhibit space, or about 10% of the regional total. Furniture and the general sectors also tallied 10%. “Seven other categories accounted for 5% or more of the space sold in Asia,” the summary said.

Trade Fair Industry in Asia is available for purchase. UFI members can download the executive summary in the Members Area section of the organization’s web site.

Reach Christian Druart, UFI research manager, at (33) 1 46 39 75 00 or christian@ufi.org