Amazing Stats on Size of Global Events Industry October 23 2020

Natural Products Trade Show

I've heard it said by many including Travis Stanton from Exhibitor Magazine, that the global events industry is the biggest industry no one has ever heard of. If you are not "in" the industry you might never know it existed. I've been in the industry for 18 years, give or take. I've always known it was huge but the numbers below are truly amazing. Before we get into the actual numbers I'd like to outline some basics.

The "Global Events Industry" includes trade shows, conferences, live and virtual events, festivals, sports, exhibitions, corporate events, seminars. That's a lot.

Lets take trade shows and exhibitions, where Boothster has made it's mark in utilizing green materials in trade show booth designs. There are trade shows for almost any industry you can think of. I'll just name a half dozen off the top of my head:

  1. Auto trade shows
  2. Kids product trade shows
  3. Solar trade shows
  4. Cannabis trade shows
  5. Natural products trade shows
  6. Government tradeshows and expositions

Take #5, Natural Products Trade Shows. Natural Products West, by itself, comprises over 3500 exhibitors (that's companies that do anything from a table top up to a huge 50x50 booth) and 85,000 attendees. Mind you the 90k attendees are those that actually walk the show during open hours. There are 10s of thousands of workers that are there for the set up, and work the convention center before, during and after the trade show. This trade show takes place at Anaheim Convention Center over a span of no more than a week. This trade show is only one of dozens of trade shows at this convention center. It's probably one of the biggest at Anaheim. But get this, it's not. I can't confirm but I believe NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) has the most attendees - a whopping 115,000.

I've just outlined two trade shows at one convention center. Anaheim Convention Center is not even close to the biggest. In fact it's not even in the top 10 biggest convention centers in the US. I think you are getting my point. Trade shows are a HUUUUUGE INDUSTRY. 

Our friends over at the Events Industry Council have put together the following amazing stats:

Economic impact research

The economic impact of the events industry is significant. On a total GDP basis, the global events industry is as large as the 13th largest global economy. Based on business sales, the business events sector is larger than consumer electronics and computers, and office equipment.

The 2018 Global Economic Significance of Business Events study, commissioned by the Events Industry Council and conducted by Oxford Economics, reveals:

  • 1.5 billion people worldwide participate in business events annually
  • $2.5 trillion (USD) in direct and indirect spending as a result of business events
  • $1.5 trillion (USD) in global GDP contribution
  • 26 million people have direct or indirect jobs in this industry
  • $704 (USD) average spending by business events participants