The 13th Global Barometer survey for the first half of 2014 was recently released by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry; it reports that the exhibition industry remains globally strong despite continuing economic challenges across the world.
Conducted in June 2014, UFI's study was answered by 201 companies from 63 countries. Within South Africa more than half the companies that participated declared that the impact of the "economic crisis" on their business was not yet over, although most anticipated it ending in 2015. While 43 percent of companies globally believed that the "economic crisis" is over.
The outlook remains positive with the majority of companies across all regions declaring turnover increases since 2011. Projections indicate that this is expected to continue in the coming year. In South Africa this year's survey indicated that 63 percent of participants, 6 out of 10 companies, predict an annual increase in their profits. While operating costs compared to the previous year remained stable.
The "local/national competition from within the exhibition industry", "state of the national/regional economy" and "internal management challenges", respectively were considered the three most important business issues globally over the last four years. The issue of "global economic uncertainty" was also reflected as significant.
The survey also revealed that China expected a relative slowdown where a quarter of the respondents, declared an increase of 10 percent of their annual profit for 2014 compared to 52 percent for 2013. Whereas 50 percent of respondents from the USA projected an increase of more than 10 percent of their annual profits in 2014 and 80 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in turnover within the next year.
Earlier this year, UFI's 12th Global Barometer highlighted growth in the exhibition industry in 2013, despite fears the "economic crisis" was not over yet.
The next UFI Global Barometer Survey will be conducted in December 2014.
The "Crisis Barometer" was developed by UFI, at the beginning of 2009, to assess the impact of the economic decline based on the perceptions of their members. Today, this survey has become the exhibition industry's Global Barometer bi-annual report drawing on input from UFI members in 83 countries. It includes identical surveys for South Africa conducted by EXSA, the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa, for the USA conducted by SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers), for Central and South America by AFIDA (Asociación International de Ferias de America) of their respective members.
EXSA's general manager, Sue Gannon said that the South African industry is extremely buoyant with major shows coming up in the next quarter highlighting the significant growth of the industry.