Exhibition News October 2018 - Page 13

ANALYSIS Balanced and stable The fourth annual Size and Scale Index for Events (SASiE) has been published by the AEV, EN takes a look at some of the headline stats from the report T 41% - Trade 48% - Consumer 11% - Conference 13 Exhibitions attracted an estimated 8.66m visitors in 2017 74% - Consumer 23% - Trade 3% - Conference March, October and November account for approximately 40% of exhibitions in 2017. 4% of trade events and 11% of consumer events took place in July/August 167 41 193 166 The full SASiE report for 2017 is distributed free of charge to all AEV, AEO and ESSA members and is also available to non-members from the AEV for £349 + VAT. 1,035 exhibitions hosted by the UK’s main exhibition venues in 2017 he Size and Scale Index for Events (SASiE), published by the AEV, AEO and ESSA, is an ongoing research study into the scale and characteristics of the UK exhibitions sector. It provides fundamental research and market intelligence aiming to illuminate and inform the industry’s investment decisions. The fourth annual report, released last month, speaks of a ‘balanced and stable’ industry, according to the foreword by Olympia London MD Nigel Nathan. In many of the key metrics there is little or no growth on 2015’s numbers, although Nathan says that stable visitor figures in the face of some large events relaunching or ceasing to operate is a cause for optimism. He adds: “Whether trade or consumer, a complex web of interdependency keeps the industry strong and resilient; enabling organisers, venues, exhibitors, contractors and partners to establish successful and sustainable businesses. Connecting people and business interests through events still is as relevant as it has ever been, despite the pressures for digital connectedness. “Events play an important role in promoting Britain’s best assets at home and onto the global stage. A healthy and stable industry will continue to grow, prosper and inspire generations to come. Year-on-year comparisons show that the number of exhibitions in 2017 is up by 0.5 per cent on 2016, the overall number of exhibiting companies is the same as 2016 (but down slightly on 2015) and the average number of visitors has been broadly static since 2015. Phil Soar, chairman of Nineteen Events and Brand Events, gave an organiser perspective on the report. He highlighted that, although the report has found that gross exhibition size, number of exhibiting companies and total number of visitors are all down year-on-year, the financial results from the major organising companies seem to tell a different story. He added: “One of the great problems of all exhibition research is that it covers visitors, square metres and exhibitor numbers but not what ultimately gets reported by companies and what pays our salaries – which is dollars and cents. “From where I sit, I don’t see any overall decline in any of my businesses and I therefore think that the SASiE numbers have to be handled carefully. I cannot be sure that the qualifications I have made here are the whole story, but I don’t see any reason to be pessimistic about the exhibition business for the foreseeable future.” This positivity was echoed by Nick Marshall, executive chairman of GES EME A, who points to the increasing focus on content and audience quality of quantity as two important growing trends. He comments: “So the models may be changing and evolving - away from chasing big headline numbers for a more considered and more profitable revenue mix. The exhibition is still a vital, dynamic marketplace – highly prized by marketers and business leaders as a marketplace for ideas as much as products and services.” exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2018