Exhibitions consultant AMR has forecast that the global market will reach 97% of its 2019 size by 2024.
In its Globex 2022 report, AMR said this week: “This time last year, AMR’s forecasts outlined a largely positive outlook for the global exhibitions market. Since then, a lot has happened: the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused spiralling energy prices in Europe and supply chain issues, inflation has soared to double figures in many countries, and China has remained steadfast in pursuing its Zero-Covid policy. Collectively, these headwinds have slowed down the recovery process of some major exhibition markets, also inhibited by wider macro-economic uncertainty. We expect recovery to accelerate in 2022 as many large exhibition markets (i.e., Western Europe and the US) are free of Covid-induced restrictions. Given how the Covid crisis has affected countries differently, recovery rates will vary by market and depend on many factors, such as restrictions on international travel, vaccination progress and underlying macroeconomic growth.”
AMR added: “For some countries, such as the US and the UK, exhibition activity is back in full-swing and is being bolstered by highly domestic shows. On the other hand, countries such as Germany and Southeast Asia are rebuilding from a highly disrupted 2021.”
Although each country will respond to the pandemic differently, Globex has identified markets that are expected to exhibit broadly similar recovery trajectories:
- Among others, the UK, the US and France are expected to exceed their 2019 size by 2024, reaching 105-110% of their pre-Covid peak. But, amid an inflationary environment, much of the growth will be price-driven
- Emerging markets such as Brazil and Mexico are also forecast to experience strong recovery to c105% of their 2019 size, driven by a combination of volume recovery and inflation
- China and Hong Kong are projected to reach c90% of their 2019 size by 2024. This will depend heavily on future Covid outbreaks – and the government response
- AMR expects Russia to be the biggest laggard by far, recovering to only c70% of its pre-Covid size by 2024. This is due to fallout effects from the war in Ukraine and the resulting international sanctions
Globex 2022 co-editor Athan Siah said: “Despite the lasting impact of the Covid pandemic, coupled with rising inflation and the looming threat of recession, exhibitions seem to be coming back relatively strongly. Post-Covid and market changes, many organisers are developing a different vision for some of their event brands. One where face-to-face events will remain at the core, but mindset shifts to a sense of community will likely play a role.”
*The 20 markets featured in Globex 2022 are: US, China, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Russia, Hong Kong, Turkey, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Macau and the Philippines.