Companies in this industry organize, manage, operate, and promote trade shows, conventions, conferences, and meetings. Major companies include Freeman, George P Johnson Company, Hargrove, and Viad (all based in the US), along with ITE Group and Reed Exhibitions (both based in the UK), and GL events (France).
As businesses expand internationally, trade shows and corporate events are attracting attendees from around the world. Countries outside the US with the most indoor exhibition space include China and Germany, according to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. Among the markets that have recently increased their exhibition capacity are China, Turkey, and Russia.
The US trade show and event planning industry includes about 4,800 establishments (single-location companies or units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $15 billion. Organizers of performing arts and sports events are not included in this industry.
Demand is driven by overall economic activity and corporate profits. The profitability of individual companies depends on managing costs, marketing shows effectively, and retaining valuable staff. Large companies have advantages of multiple locations and economies of scale in negotiating labor, transportation, and supply contracts. Small companies compete successfully by delivering superior customer service that drives repeat business. The US industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies generate about 45 percent of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Events typically include presentations and workshops; an exhibition area for vendors to promote their products and services; and entertainment activities, such as...