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AT THE BEGINNING of 2009, UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, decided to assess the impact of the economic downturn by developing a ‘Crisis Barometer’ based on the perceptions of UFI members in 82 countries.
For the USA, an identical survey was conducted by SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers) and for Central & South America by AFIDA (Asociacion International de Ferias de America) of their respective members. Results of these surveys were published in February, May and August 2009. This tool now goes forward as the ‘Global Exhibition Barometer’, with two surveys planned per year. The current Global Barometer survey, conducted in December 2009, provides new insights into the impact of the economic crisis on the exhibition industry and, for the first time since this survey was launched, identifies significant differences across the various regions of the world. A ‘bottom-out’ of the turnover decrease is anticipated in 2010, by a majority of respondents from all regions, except Europe. When looking more specifically at the combined results for the second half of 2009 and forecasts for 2010, 60 per cent of European respondents declared decreases for all periods as compared to 32 per cent in Asia/Pacific; 25 per cent in the Middle East/Africa and only eight per cent in the Americas. In 2009, in terms of operating profit, the Americas and Europe were more affected than the other regions, with 54 per cent and 51 per cent respectively of respondents experiencing a decrease of more than 10 per cent of their 2008 operating profit, or even a loss. The same was felt by only 29 per cent of respondents in Asia/Pacific and 11 per cent in Middle East/Africa. For 2010, however, 41 per cent of respondents in the Americas expect an increase of 10 per cent or more, and the remainder anticipate a stable situation.
Respondents from other regions have comparable expectations, except in Europe where only 19 per cent of respondents expect an increase of 10 per cent or more in 2010.