. US$40 billion loss estimated from exhibitions not held in Asia Pacific: UFI | Meetings & Conventions Asia

US$40 billion loss estimated from exhibitions not held in Asia Pacific: UFI

Findings from UFI's Covid-19 damage assessment paint a dismal picture for the exhibitions industry and the wider economy.

Reopening of exhibitions play critical role in the recovery of economies, according to UFI managing director and CEO Kai Hattendorf. (Credit: Getty Images)
Reopening of exhibitions play critical role in the recovery of economies, according to UFI managing director and CEO Kai Hattendorf. (Credit: Getty Images)

Despite the gradual reopening of Asia's exhibition sector, the revenue outlook for the rest of the year looks bleak, according to UFI's latest Covid-19 damage assessment. 

 

Globally, industry revenues for the first half of the year dipped by two-thirds on average, compared with the same period last year. Looking at 2020 as a whole, it is expected that this year's revenue will be only 39% of 2019 revenues for Asia Pacific, 44% for Europe and North America, 33% for Central and South America, and 31% for the Middle East & Africa.

 

These figures are based on results of the UFI Global Exhibition Barometer released last week, which assessed the level of activity of companies for the first half of 2020, and their expectations for the second half of 2020.

 

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry is severe. Despite gradual reopening in many parts of the world, many companies in the exhibition industry face huge revenue drops and profit loss. This also impacts all participants who sign contracts on the show floor," said Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director and CEO.

 

The significant hit on exhibitions also extends to the territories where they are held. Based on the findings, the total output not produced – for the exhibitions industry itself and indirectly for other industries that benefit from participants' expenditure, such as accommodation and restaurants – is estimated to be a minimum of 158 billion euros (US$180 billion).

 

The impact broken down by region is as follows: US$59 billion for Europe, US$76 billion for North America, US$40 billion for Asia Pacific. This translates to 1.9 million jobs affected globally.

 

"It is important that governments, local authorities and the industry work together to facilitate the reopening of exhibitions, and primarily B2B events, as they have a critical role to play in the recovery of economies and societies,” urged Hattendorf.

 

The 25th UFI Global Barometer survey, released on 16 July 2020, can be downloaded for free at www.ufi.org/research.