Despite increasing competition, the growth of new event types and ongoing issues with recruitment, the mood across the exhibition and event industry in 2017 was generally positive with organisers, venues and suppliers all experiencing growth and notably less concerned with the economic climate than in previous years.
These are some of the key findings of the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s (EEAA) 2018 Market Monitor research, which measured the state of the industry in 2017 (January-December 2017).
Explori’s Global Strategy Director, Sophie Holt presented the research results to EEAA members today at the Association’s annual conference. International research partner, Explori, was appointed by the Association to undertake the next phase of its Market Monitor research program late last year, in a bid to deliver more in-depth analysis of the industry and benchmark the industry globally.
EEAA Chief Executive, Joyce DiMascio, said the Association placed great importance on accurate and credible data to both inform its advocacy and provide a valuable service to members to help them prosper.
“This is a major profile study on the performance of our industry in 2017. It’s the first time we’ve had both a qualitative and quantitative component and the first time our data has been benchmarked against the rest of the world,” Ms DiMascio said.
“Interviews from 15 industry leaders have helped to give context to the numbers and have enabled us to better understand the data collected.
“Our research agenda is an important part of our annual program of activities and we thank all participants for their contributions to our 2018 Market Monitor.”
EEAA President, Spiro Anemogiannis, cited year-on-year growth for organisers over the past year versus 2016 and higher reported exhibitor satisfaction scores in the Asia Pacific region compared to other regions as positive outcomes from the research.
“While we acknowledge the challenges we face as an industry, in areas like being able to find skilled staff and labour, we can also appreciate that there are a lot of positives to take away from the past year, like improved economic conditions that have facilitated growth,’ Mr Anemogiannis said.
“The data also reinforces the idea that exhibitions and events are changing. ‘Festivalisation’ – or adding more entertainment elements to events – is a growing trend to increase delegate numbers and enhance the visitor experience. Interestingly, research by UFI earlier this year, suggested Australasian organisers were more open to innovative event models than the rest of the region, so we expect to see the event model continue to evolve.”
Key findings from the report include:
- 79% of organisers experienced year-on-year revenue growth vs 2016
- Health, travel, education and business are seen as sectors with the greatest potential for event growth, while mining was singled out as the sector in decline
- Competition from other events and other marketing channels was identified as the most notable growth limiting factor for the year ahead
- Senior sales and show director roles were identified as the most difficult roles to recruit, with a lack of skills available locally and changes to 457 visas limiting the ability to recruit the required skills from overseas
- Growth in smaller niche events at the local level and mega events in growth sectors are creating a ‘hollowing out’ of the middle resulting in the consolidation of mid-sized events
- Both suppliers and organisers are seeing their revenue streams diversify beyond traditional exhibitions
- Organisers cited an increasing role in content provision to build year-round communities and creating introductions via matchmaking technology
- Increasing trend toward to innovative event models, such as ‘festivalisation’
- Increasing mis-alignment in objectives between organisers, venues and suppliers leading to pressures in working relationships.
Full research results are available to EEAA members who participated in the survey only.
Based in the UK, Explori is building a reputation within the global exhibition and event industry as an important source of industry intelligence and insights. The company already works with a number of the Association’s members, as well as with the global peak body for our industry – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI).
The EEAA Conference was part of a two-day program of activity aligned to Global Exhibitions Day, which included EEAA 2018 Leaders Forum and Dinner, EEAA 2018 Conference and the EEAA 2018 Annual General Meeting.