US convention center activity rebounded from new pandemics

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US convention center activity rebounded from new pandemics

(Bloomberg) – The U.S. convention industry rebounded further in the second quarter after being hit during the pandemic, according to a report by a research group.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research’s CEIR Total Index, a measure of convention business activity, was about 25.5% below 2019 levels in the second quarter, according to an upcoming report the group shared with Bloomberg. In the first quarter, it was 37.9% lower than pre-pandemic levels, and in the second quarter of 2020, it was 100% lower.

The statistics bode well for cities and states that are now investing money in convention centers in an effort to attract more exhibit business. At least 35 of these projects are underway, Bloomberg reported in March, and they are attractive to local governments because they could generate revenue related to areas such as hotel taxes and sales taxes.

The group now expects its total index to be around 10% below 2019 levels in 2023 and around 3.5% above 2019 levels in 2024. Aggregate CEIR indicators allow Track the amount of space used by conventions, number of people in attendance, number of exhibiting companies, and revenue. It focuses on business-to-business events.

Despite a recovery in volume this year, cancellation rates have declined, reaching 2.0% in the second quarter compared to 9.2% in the first.

“Looking ahead, it should dampen inflation and establish a solid base of support for moderate economic growth. [business-to-business] exhibition industry,” CEIR economist Allen Shaw said in a statement. “B2B trade show cancellation rates are expected to remain extremely low and performance of completed events will continue to improve.”

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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