A report by the events, organisers and contractors association, Events Industry Alliance, has found attendance at trade events fell 12 per cent year-on-year between 2007 and 2008, with consumer events showing a 10 per cent fall.
The chairman of Waypoint Exhibitions and board member of the Association of Event Organisers, Phil Soar, says: “Clearly 2009 and 2010 will prove to be difficult years for events as they will for all non-electrical media. We have already lost the Motor Show, the Commercial Vehicle Show, the Royal Show, Grosvenor Antiques, and there will no doubt be others.”
Soar urges readers to look at the median as a guide to the health of the industry instead of the mean average, due to the inflationary nature of the small number of large events in the UK. “In 2010, the Motor Show will not run and in one fell swoop, this will remove some six per cent of all attendees at recognised UK events, and all on its own, bring the average down by that number,” he adds.
The report, which covers events that took place in 2008, found by comparison trade shows took some 4.5 per cent less space. “This doesn’t mean they filled it, but it appears to be following similar trend lines to attendances,” says Soar.
The report surveyed some 500 events that fulfil its criteria of being held in recognised event venues of more than 500sqm of covered space. Of that 325 events submitted data for both 2007 and 2008 and represented 80 per cent of the total revenues of the industry.