The damage that the Covid-19 pandemic caused the international exhibition industry in 2020 has been put into figures by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. This includes the following findings:
- Exhibition industry revenue dropped by global average of 68% in 2020, as compared to 2019.
- 2020 lost an estimated US$ 224 billion of exhibition output; this amount factors in the broader economic impacts of exhibitions beyond the venues, organisers and suppliers, to include the impact of lost revenue for accommodation, restaurants and transport.
- This lost revenue value affected 2.4 million full-time jobs.
- Additionally, the lack of exhibitions being held in 2020 resulted in an estimated US$ 370 billion of business volume being lost. While some of this may have been recouped through other mediums – such as digital events – the impact is high.
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director and CEO, says, “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the exhibition industry, as well as those sectors who benefit from face-to-face events. The impact has not just been felt by exhibitors, who showcase their products and develop their sales, but also by those involved in ‘tourism-related’ activities. We all look forward to the lifting of current restrictions and the rebound of our economies, where exhibitions will play an important role.”