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EXSA, the Exhibition and Events Association of Southern Africa, is now in its 35th year and takes part regularly in an international survey to gauge the state of the industry both locally and throughout the world. The survey is conducted by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the latest results have just been released.

The survey reports that the outlook for the exhibition industry has positive prospects for 2015.

The survey, conducted in December 2014, was answered by 203 companies from 55 countries. The majority of these companies across all regions have seen positive increases in turnover since 2011. Projections further indicate that this is expected to continue through 2015. Within South Africa 85% of participants, 8 out of 10 companies, declared and annual increase in their profits.

Furthermore the operating profits in South Africa indicated a 54 percent increase compared to the previous year, this while fewer than half the companies globally declared an increase of less than 10% in their annual operating profits. Half the companies that participated in the survey in South Africa also declared that the impact of the “economic crisis” on their business was not yet over, although most anticipated it ending in 2015. At the same time 41 percent of the companies globally believe that the “economic crisis” is now over.

“In a globally fragile economic environment, the exhibition industry continues to demonstrate a fairly good performance, except in some countries with specific current issues,” UFI’s managing director Paul Woodward said in a statement.

The survey also indicated that the top three most important business issues that companies will face globally in the coming year are the “state of the national/regional economy”, “local/national competition from within the exhibition industry” and “global economic uncertainty”. The issue of “internal management challenges” was also reflected as significant.

The majority of companies globally also indicated that they are planning new business developments. 76 percent of participants intend to develop new activities within either the classic range of the exhibition industry (venue, organizer, services) or other live events or virtual events (or both). In addition to this one out of two companies also indicated that they plan to expand exhibition operations to new countries.

Full results of the 14th Global Barometer Survey can be freely downloaded here –www.ufi.org/research.

The next UFI Global Barometer Survey will be conducted in June 2015.

“We start the year on a positive note with a huge expo in Cape Town – Mining Indaba taking place 9 to 12 February, where the talents of our stand designers and manufacturers can be seen. This is then quickly followed by Meetings Africa taking place 23 to 25 February and the rest of the year is already looking good,” commented Sue Gannon, EXSA’s General Manager.

“This year also sees the return of the Johannesburg International Motor Show and BAUMA Conexpo Africa, taking place bi-annually.”

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