Global exhibitions market to rebound to 78% of its 2019 size by 2022, says Globex report

The 12th edition of Globex – the global exhibition organising market: assessment and outlook to 2022 – released 18 November by specialist research and strategy consultancy to the events industry AMR International, details the devastating impact of Covid-19 on 2020 and looks ahead at the likely fallout of the crisis over the coming years.

Globex 2020 editor Carole Boletti said: “The global exhibition market size is likely to drop by US$19.9bn, with the total estimated market size shrinking to approximately $9.1bn by the end of 2020 (a 69% contraction). 

Although the Covid crisis has meant Globex does not have not projected figures for 2021, looking ahead to 2022, it expects the market globally to rebound to 78% of its 2019 size. Recovery rates will vary by country and will depend on many factors, such as GDP growth and international participation at events, the report adds.


Report highlights: Covid impact assessment on 2020

  • The primary driver of revenue loss in 2020 is reduced volume sales. In many major markets, this has led to more than a 90% reduction in NSM sold in Q2 and Q3.
  • Weakened NSM pricing has also driven revenue loss. Across all markets, AMR anticipates no price hikes with organisers offering discounts and incentives to exhibitors. Overall Globex projects pricing will be depressed by -3% in 2020. 
  • While all exhibition markets will suffer a major hit in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, the decline will vary between markets. The least negatively impacted market is likely to be China, with 2020 exhibitions revenues 50% down compared to 2019, whereas the most negatively impacted are forecast to be Vietnam and Singapore (94% and 93% down from 2019 respectively).


Highlights – Projection to 2022

Although each country will respond to the pandemic differently, Globex has identified markets that are expected to exhibit broadly similar recovery trajectories: 

  • China is expected to rebound the most reaching 86% of its relative 2019 size by 2022
  • UK, US and Mexican exhibition markets are projected to rebound to c.80% of their 2019 size by 2022
  • AMR expects Germany will rebound to 79% of its 2019 size by 2022.

Boletti added: “The priority for organisers will be how to survive 2021 with reduced revenues while investing in more digital offerings. Looking further ahead, organisers will also need to develop a post-Covid vision that addresses a radically changed market, while developing a strategy to make it happen.

“Changing the mindset of organisers will be key. AMR believes they should no longer think of themselves as pure event organisers. Rather, they need to become community catalysts – facilitating business, connections, education and advocacy.”

“Events will no longer be one-off experiences. Instead, we see events becoming integral to building communities and customer relationships throughout the year, with the use of event technology a crucial element to success. It will require something akin to the omni-channel revolution the retail sector has undergone.”  

The full Globex 2020 edition, plus separate regional reports can be purchased online:  


Globex is published annually by AMR International and provides in-depth trends analysis, granular volume and price data, plus post-Covid projections on 20* mature and emerging countries.