EIA study reveals the future’s bright for trade shows

22nd October 2007

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) has recently released research it describes as “the most complete census yet of the events industry”.

Entitled EIA Facts 2007, the study reveals that more than 10 million visits to major live events took place in 2006, with trade show attendance up for the first time since 1999.

The report was produced for the Events Industry Alliance by Vivid Interface, and is sponsored by exhibitions.co.uk, tsnn.co.uk and venues.org.uk and EVENTS:review. It looks at the performance of the UK exhibition industry in 2006, comparing it to 2005 where possible, covering audited and non-audited public and trade events in what is known as a 'qualifying venue' (one with more than 2,000 square meters of covered exhibition floor space) and major outdoor events.

The statistics reveal that, in 2006, 2,071,663 visitors attended trade events in qualifying venues, 4,867,030 visitors attended public events in qualifying venues and a further 3,768,068 attended major outdoor events.

Looking at year-on-year trends, there was great news for audited trade events. Where comparisons are possible – and this was the case for the majority of trade events – there was an increase in total attendance of 1.7% in 2006 over the previous year.

With respect to public events, however, the study revealed a decline in total attendance of 4.6% between 2005 and 2006. Meanwhile, for all trade and public events, attendance numbers are broadly static between the two years.

This indicates that the fall in attendance at trade events, which has been reported since 1999, has stopped, while public event attendances are in decline.

Commenting on the EIA Facts 2007, EIA group chief executive Trevor Foley said: “I am delighted to be able to deliver the inaugural EIA Facts to the members of AEC, AEO and AEV, and to the industry at large. This is the start of new era for this research, designed to provide a comprehensive analysis our market for those working within the industry, and those interested in becoming more involved in events.

"The main message is that the events business is alive and doing very well, especially when you compare it to other marketing media such as advertising and TV. This new method of analysis will give us the ammunition next year and thereafter to clearly demonstrate that live event marketing is on the rise, as we in the industry and the more savvy marketers out there, already know.”

EIA Facts 2007 replaces the Exhibition Facts report previously published by EVA (Exhibition Venues Association). Following the merger of EVA with AEV (Association of Event Venues) – one of EIA’s three owner trade organisations – EIA set about evolving the research into a more comprehensive, user-friendly statistical resource. In partnership with Vivid Interface, major changes have been made to the presentation of the data.

The report is available free to AEC, AEO and AEV members, while non-member companies can purchase it for £350 plus VAT. For more details visit www.eia-facts.com