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.