The International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) says its latest survey has revealed clear signs of departure from the economic uncertainty that has characterised the sector since the global recessison.
Recovery and business optimism were the two key conclusions from the survey, which was carried out between April and June 2014 and achieved responses from centres in 54 countries.
“Finally, we are seeing clear signs of departures from the economic uncertainty that has characterised our sector since the onset of the recent global recession,” said AIPC President Geoff Donaghy. “Business results are all tending toward the positive and investment – a sign of future confidence – is picking up as well.
“While we need to recognise and address the fact that we are dealing in a world that has changed irreversibly in some fundamental ways, it is nevertheless clear that things are finally on the upswing.”
Key survey findings included:
- Total revenue increased worldwide by 3.1 per cent in 2013 and the membership is expecting an increase of 4.7 per cent in 2014.
- This revenue growth has exceeded global GDP from 2010 to 2013, but is expected to increase faster in 2014 relative to a 3.4 per cent worldwide GDP forecast.
- The percentage of respondents that say they are experiencing either strong or moderate growth has increased to 79 per cent from 52 per cent in 2013.
- An increasing percentage of members say they expect to see overall revenue growth in 2014 in most of the industry’s core revenue categories including exhibit hall and meeting room rental, food and beverage sales andconcessions, as well as event services and AV.
- The number of major capital investment projects such as expansions and renovations are also increasing worldwide, with 71 per cent of members indicating that they are planning or developing an expansion, renovation or other significant investment in their facilities currently up from 62 per cent in the 2013 survey.
- AIPC members see major International and national corporate meetings as the strongest client segment expected in the near term, followed by association conventions and conferences.
- Africa now has the fastest growing revenues in the world, with African members reporting gross centre revenues of 9.2 per cent in 2013 and also forecasting the highest rate of revenue growth in 2014.
“One area that has remained of great concern is that of government policies toward centres, many of which are actually owned by those same governments” said Donaghy. “These concerns relate to both investment and participation in meetings and events by government staff, many of whom are facing restrictions in attending events related to their areas of responsibility.
“This shows we need to keep working to ensure the importance of business events to economic recovery are better understood and appreciated by policy makers in all parts of the world,” he added.
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