Globex 2018, to be published on 5 November 2018, will show that 2017’s global exhibitions market growth was boosted by continued high growth in emerging markets, while mature markets continued to trade in an improved macroeconomic environment.

While China has cemented its second place in the exhibitions market behind the US thanks to its structural high growth, expansion by organisers into smaller but high-growth emerging markets such as India, Mexico and Indonesia continues, either through geo-adapt or acquisitions.

Publisher AMR International forecasts that – despite the current global political uncertainty – growth will achieve c.5% CAGR to 2022, above GDP growth.

These are some of the findings from Globex 2018: the global exhibition organising market: assessment and forecast to 2022, produced annually by strategy consultancy AMR International.


Globex Editor, Diana Gineva, comments that the pace of industry consolidation has accelerated: “Informa’s acquisition of UBM is the most significant merger in recent history, positioning it as the largest organiser worldwide. Other notable deals in mature markets include ITE’s acquisition of the Ascential Exhibitions Business and Clarion’s acquisition of the events portfolio of the US-based PennWell.

“The exhibitions market remains fragmented and still offers considerable opportunities for international consolidation. Transaction multiples are currently very high and intense M&A activity is expected to continue in the short to mid-term, with many private equity firms keen to enter the exhibition space.”

Global market – 2017 highlights

Other findings from Globex 2018 include:

• Despite increasing IT capex requirements, cash conversion within the exhibition sector remains excellent. There is a high degree of revenue integrity, with exhibitor renewal rates typically within the c.65% to c.70% range.
• All mature markets have now regained their pre- recession value but volume development is still below in certain key regions.
• Following a period of severe decline, Russia has started to recover, driven by volume development.
• Brazil continues to suffer but is expected to stabilise in the mid-term, although following the recent election, this will depend on its future political and macroeconomic stability.
• The Gulf region remains an important meeting place as a trade hub and the UAE prepares for the upcoming Expo2020 with the expansion of Dubai World Central.
• Southeast Asian markets such as Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines present attractive untapped opportunities but are somewhat constrained by venue capacity in the short term.

The full Globex 2018 report, published on 5 November, is £8,750 + VAT, with a 20% discount for members of UFI. For details of how to purchase, please email

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.