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.

READ: UFI releases its Global Barometer research

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.”

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