Live marketing shows positive signs of recovery and outperforms print media

12th April 2011

The live events industry’s most comprehensive annual survey, The Facts 2011, published by FaceTime and produced by Vivid Interface has been released.

The Facts 2011 is the broadest dataset reporting on trade show and consumer event markets in the UK. The report contains like-for-like comparisons and business sector analysis and offers extensive data from 650 events held in the UK during 2010.

Top line figures:

• The average number of exhibiting companies at trade shows increased by 2.0% between 2009 and 2010*.

• The average number of exhibiting companies at consumer shows declined by a very small 0.7% between 2009 and 2010*.

• Trade events showed a decline of 1.4% in average attendance when comparing 2010 with 2009 compared to an 8.2% decline we reported last year.

• Consumer events fared slightly worse with a small decline of 3.6% in attendance comparing 2010 with 2009 but only showed a 2.9% decline in last year’s report.

• Trade events based on the gross hall space booked at exhibition venues showed that, on average, organisers booked 5.8% less space for trade shows in 2010 than in 2009 compared to an 8.5% decline we reported last year.

• Consumer events based on the gross hall space booked at exhibition venues showed that, on average, organisers booked 1.5% less space for consumer shows in 2010 than in 2009 compared to a 4.2% decline we reported last year.

• The net hall space booked by trade show organisers showed an increase of 7.1% comparing 2010 with 2009; an indication of a more economic use of hall space.

• The net hall space booked by consumer show organisers also showed an increase of 4.9% comparing 2010 with 2009.

Austen Hawkins, FaceTime CEO commented: "Given the on-going economic conditions that we face, The Facts 2011 shows a remarkable performance by live events in 2010. A small decline in space booked and visitor numbers compared to a much bigger percentage in decline of other media demonstrates the continuing strength of face-to-face marketing".

Geoffrey Dixon, MD at Vivid Interface said: "In the 2010 report of 2009 events, we were reporting attendance declines for both trade and consumer events; declines that appeared to be influenced mainly by adverse economic conditions. In 2011, reporting on 2010 events we can see a significant reduction in the rate of decline for ‘average’ trade event attendance while consumer event attendance continues to decline by around 3%. These declines are small in comparison to some other magazine and newspaper markets."

The Facts 2011 can be obtained by contacting Jo Walther at Vivid Interface on 01953 423435 or by emailing jo.walther@vivid-interface.com. The report is free for members of AEO, AEV and ESSA. Non-members can purchase a copy for £995 + VAT for an electronic version and £1,250+VAT for a printed version.

* Based on the like-for-like shows within the project’s sample size.