Overall performance by the tradeshow industry dropped 11.6 percent in the first quarter of 2009, as compared to Q1 of 2008, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR). CEIR compared a number of measurements to evaluate tradeshow industry performance, each of which was down.
Square footage dropped 14.8 percent, revenue dropped 19.7 percent, and professional attendance dropped 1.5 percent. The number of exhibiting companies was also down 10.4 percent.
However, it doesn't seem like every tradeshow will face low numbers this year. Tradeshow Week recently reported that Lightfair Intl. saw record-breaking attendance during its May show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The tradeshow saw 23,000 attendees, including exhibit personnel, as compared to 19,854 attendees last year. The tradeshow floor also grew from 157,600 square feet in 2008 to 170,000 square feet in 2009.