The exhibition industry saw its first market decline last year since 2002, according to the Center for the Exhibition Industry Research's 6th annual CEIR Index report.
Overall, the industry shrank 3.1 percent in 2008, the majority of which occurred in the second half of the year. All four performance metrics were down, with attendance dropping four percent and revenue shrinking by 3.5 percent.
However, exhibition successes and drops varied greatly based on industry sector. In fact, four sectors performed better this year: information technology (up 9.8 percent); raw materials (up 3.4 percent); medical and healthcare (up 1.3 percent); and industry (1.1 percent). Building and construction saw the largest drop at 9.8 percent.
In spite of the decline in 2008, the exhibition industry has still grown at a compound annual growth rate of 1.8 percent since 2000.