Annual Report on China’s Exhibition Industry (2018)

zhuzijun / 2019-04-18

China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) released the Annual Report on China’s Exhibition Industry (2018) at the opening ceremony of the 15th China Expo Forum for International Cooperation (CEFCO) in Qionghai, Hainan Province on January 11.


“The report includes retrospect and prospect of China’s exhibition industry, development of domestic and overseas exhibitions, development of China’s exhibition halls and so on, and will describe the first China International Import Expo, International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing China, some large exhibitions and fairs co-sponsored by provinces and ministries, cases of exhibition economic development in Hainan Province and other hot topics in the form of chronicle of events according to the new development trend of China’s exhibition industry so as to comprehensively, accurately and timely reflect the status of China’s exhibitions and expositions,” said Feng Yaoxiang Director of CCPIT Department of Trade and Investment Promotion.


According to the report, China’s exhibition industry in 2018 presented five characteristics as follows.

First, the scale of domestic exhibitions continuously grew, and the development of exhibition industry in different regions varied distinctly. Incomplete statistics showed that, among all the exhibitions of which the area data has been gathered, a total of 3,793 economic and trade exhibitions were organized in China in 2018,
up by 3.5% year on year; the total exhibition area reached 129.49 million square meters with a year-on-year growth of 4.6%. East China took the lead in both number and area of exhibitions. Northeast China saw the highest year-on-year growth rate in the number of exhibitions while South China experienced the fastest year-on-year growth in the area of exhibitions.

Second, overseas exhibitions grew steadily, and countries along the Belt and Road saw an increase in both number and quality of exhibitions. As of November 13, 2018, 92 exhibition organizers across China hosted exhibitions (expositions) in 66 countries, participating in 1,672 projects, with a year-on-year growth of 4.89% and the number of exhibitors totaled 59,000, unchanged from the previous year. Meanwhile, 76 exhibition organizers across China participated in 718 projects in 33 countries along the Belt and Road, accounting for 42.9% of the total exhibition projects, up by 14.3% compared with that in the same period of 2017.

Third, China’s overseas self-organized brand exhibitions became increasingly mature and the international market was expanded. As of November 13, 2018, 37 exhibition organizers organized 153 self-organized exhibitions in 45 countries, an increase of 11.7% over the same period of last year. To be more specific, the number of exhibitions held in Brazil, Indonesia and Russia exceeded that in other countries, reaching 9 in each country, accounting for 17.6% of the total overseas exhibition projects.

Fourth, the growth of the total supply of exhibition venues slowed down, and the
overall occupancy rate of the market increased significantly. The number of domestic exhibition venues reached 164, increasing 7% year on year while the total indoor leasable area was around 9.83 million square meters, up by 5% from the previous year. Although the number of newly built exhibition venues of the year still maintained an increase of about 10 venues a year, the area of newly built exhibition venues of the year dropped from 1.13 million square meters in 2017 to 480,000 square meters this year, with the growth rate decreasing by about 8%. Meanwhile, the overall rental rate remarkably increased in China’s exhibition venue market in 2018. 104 exhibition venues saw a rise in the rental rate, increasing by four compared with that in 2017, accounting for up to 63% of the total number.

Fifth, the First China International Import Expo achieved remarkable results and
the preparations for Beijing Expo 2019 were steadily advanced. The first China International Import Expo (CIIE) set up a number of records as an international expo, which was far beyond expectations in terms of the scale of participating countries, the booth area, the number and quality of exhibiting enterprises, the scale of purchasers, and the number of honored guests. International Horticultural Exhibition 2019, Beijing, China will be held from April 29 to October 7 in 2019, another international fair of the highest level to be hosted by China following the 1999 Kunming International Horticultural Exposition and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. After more than five years of preparations for Beijing Expo 2019, the organization work saw important progress and significant results in various aspects.

The report also outlined the development outlook of China’s exhibition industry in 2019, the dominant theme of which will be the innovative development. Five development trends will be followed. First, the concept of green exhibition and integrated development has gradually been endorsed. Second, new strategy, new industry and new situation will become the new themes of exhibitions. Third, consumption-related and cultural exhibitions will expand in scale and number. Fourth, integrated development has become a new mode for exhibition industry. Last but not least, information technology speeds up the innovation in service mode of exhibition industry.