The 2013 Economic Outlook

"Five years after the so-called "Great" Recession, the industry is still struggling to gain traction and return to the promised land of business as usual. With many first-quarter trade shows posting record-breaking numbers for attendance and participating companies, it appears we're on our way to recovery. However, the aftershocks of economic collapse are still rippling through many industry sectors, and the winds of worry have been fueled by fears of fiscal cliffs and European debt. But ever the optimists, exhibitors remain hopeful that this year will produce better returns than 2012.

Thirty percent of exhibitors are enjoying larger budgets in 2013 than in 2012, while an additional 46 percent are at least maintaining last year's allocations. Furthermore, the vast majority of marketers are optimistic about the future of trade shows. When asked how they feel about the current effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing medium, a whopping 83 percent reported being "optimistic" or at the very least "hopeful."

Fifteen percent are still cautious about the future of our industry and the effectiveness of live events, but they're the exception to the rule. When asked, "How confident are you that your trade show program will achieve better results in 2013 than it did in 2012?" more than 81 percent reported feeling "confident" or "extremely confident." That's 3 small percentage points up from 2011, but one giant leap compared to 2009 and 2010, when many marketers weren't sure whether their departments would survive the cutback axe unscathed."

via: Exhibitor Online