First assessment of the economic impact of COVID-19 on exhibitions

23 billion euros loss in orders

kf - Wednesday, March 11, 2020    

23 billion euros loss in orders

On every show floor, business gets done. Based on UFI data, the orders that exhibiting companies are currently not securing already add up to 23 billion euros (26.3 billion USD) globally. Of this, UFI estimates lost orders of around 13 billion euros (14.6 billion USD) in Asia/Pacific, and 9.7 billion euros (11.1 billion USD) in Europe. “Globally, the fact that more than 500 trade shows have not taken place in recent weeks is creating an escalating ripple effect for whole industries”, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director / CEO. Based on the current numbers and size of the events not taking place, 14.4 billion euros (16.5 billion USD) of economic output have already been lost. Hardest hit is Asia/Pacific, where the impact is already reaching more than 8.4 billion euros (9.6 billion USD). In Europe, with an ongoing wave of postponed and/or cancelled shows, the impact is already reaching 5.8 billion euros (6.6 billion USD). As additional events continue to be postponed, these numbers will rise further in the weeks to come. Many of the events that are not taking place this quarter are being postponed – and rescheduled to take place later in the year. This may help to reduce the mid-to-long-term impact. “But even short-term postponements have an immediate impact because they delay scheduled business and revenues. This poses an existential risk, in particular for small and medium-sized companies”, says Christian Druart, UFI Research Manager. As an industry, the exhibitions industry generates a total economic output of 22.9 billion euros (26.2 billion USD) per month globally on average, translating into more than 270,000 FTE jobs. “We rely on the joint efforts from policymakers and global leaders to ensure that the companies that organise these events, creating those necessary market and meeting places, will be able to continue to fulfil that role in the future. All of these companies are already suffering massively under the current wave of postponements and cancellations”, Hattendorf concludes. (kf)


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Practice | UFI | COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Economy