I get asked the following question a lot – With the rise and rise of the internet, e-commerce, and social media, do you really need to bother? The answer quite simply is yes! The Exhibition and event industry is still growing rapidly around the world so let’s look at some recent figures to see the value in attending them.
The UK events industry is worth a whopping £42.3 billion taking into account direct spend by event delegates, attendees and organisers. The value of the UK’s event sector by direct spend is made up as follows:
- Conferences and meetings £19.9 billion
- Exhibitions and trade fairs £11.0 billion
- Sporting events £2.3 billion
- Music events £1.3 billion
- Corporate hospitality and corporate events £1.2 billion
- Incentive travel and performance improvement £1.2 billion
- Festivals and cultural events £1.1 billion
- Outdoor events £1.1 billion
There are in excess of 1.3 million business events held in the UK every year with just under £40 billion spent by those attending.
Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
In 2010, exhibitions and trade fairs generated over £11 billion in spend and contributed £5.6 billion in value added to the UK economy, equivalent to 0.4% of UK GDP. This activity supported 148,500 jobs in the UK, equivalent to 0.5% of total employment. The exhibition sector brought in over 13 million visitors to the UK, in the same year over 265,000 exhibitors participated in events, with 20% coming from outside the UK. Exhibitors spent £2.7 billion on related goods and services to demonstrate at events.
In 2010 the outdoor events industry generated £1.1 billion in sales. The UK is recognised by Europe and the USA as a world leader in outdoor events and every year we host over 7,000 major outdoor events including agricultural shows, festivals, charity events and craft events.
Exhibition stands and outdoor event stands provide exhibitors with a unique outlet for their products and services. The Vivid Interface survey of exhibitors finds that, across all exhibitions, over 1/3 of respondents expect to generate between £10,000 and £50,000 in additional sales, while trade exhibitors expect on average to generate over £80,000 in additional sales from attending an event.
As the saying goes “the numbers don’t lie”, they show there’s still amazing value to be had from exhibiting. In addition to the sales opportunities and lead generation represented in the figures above, exhibitions are also a great place to interact face-to-face and nurture relationships in a way that technology will struggle to replicate.