Growth in the Trade Show and Event Planning industry in Canada is heavily dependent on the size of corporate marketing budgets and the ability for consumers to spend. “Most recently, corporate profit and disposable income have been on the rise, enabling industry revenue to reach prerecession levels,” says IBISWorld industry analyst Austen Sherman. IBISWorld estimates that the industry will build on its recent strong performance and increase an additional 2.0% to $1.5 billion in 2013. Recent growth has largely been propelled by expanding client marketing budgets as a result of a significant increase in corporate profit following the recession; according to the Center of Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), nearly 40.0% of business-to-business marketing budgets in 2011 were spent on trade shows.
However, the industry did have its plans for growth interrupted during the early part of the past five years. According to Sherman, “The Canadian economy mired in a recession for the majority of 2009, weighing on client marketing expenditures.” The effects on industry revenue were immediate and aggressive, resulting in a decline of 7.0% in that year. As a result, IBISWorld estimates industry revenue has risen at an annualized rate of just 1.4% during the five years to 2013. Since the recession, industry operators have increasingly used new technologies to ease labour intensive processes and reduce wage costs.