Trade show statistics 2021 show slight recovery compared to 2020

The trade fair industry is still a long way from the "pre-Corona situation". This is shown by the trade show statistics 2021 of the industry association Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Association. Nevertheless, compared to the dramatic situation in 2020, one can speak of a slight recovery.

Compared to the dramatic figures of 2020, almost twice as many trade shows could be held in 2021, according to the statistics (2020: 38 trade shows / 2021: 73 trade shows). However, there is still a long way to go before the pre-pandemic situation, the industry association writes in a statement. In 2018, 193 trade shows were still held.

Continued severe drop in sales

The total revenue realized by exhibition venues and organizers in 2021 increased by 30 percent year-on-year, from 263.7 million to 342.5 million. However, comparing the turnover with 2018 (766.7 million), it should be noted that this is not even half of the pre-pandemic years. Accordingly, the 2021 operating results also continued to be poor, with a consolidated operating loss of -39.7 million Swiss francs (2020: 137.7 million Swiss francs). Probably only thanks to the financial support measures, the association members still employed 1,066 people at the end of 2021 (2018: 1,565 employees) despite the massive slump in business over the past two years.

A look at the number of visitors shows that although the situation in 2021 has doubled to 1.4 million compared with 2020 (0.7 million), the 2018 figure of 7 million visitors is still a long way off. Overall, all trade show formats show a 62 percent drop compared to 2018. General public trade fairs are particularly affected, with a drop of 90 percent, followed by B2B trade fairs with -57 percent and thematic public fairs with -40 percent. The figures underline the huge economic damage.

Visitor numbers at Luga and Bea are positive

The 43rd Central Switzerland Spring Fair Luga has recorded over 120,000 visitors from April 22 to May 1. This corresponds to the figures of the last Luga in 2019. After the cancellations of Luga 2020 and 2021, the exhibition management is extremely satisfied with this result: "We are very pleased that we were able to pick up where we left off. After two years of pandemic, this has exceeded our expectations," says Exhibition Director Luzia Roos. The very good atmosphere on the exhibition grounds was particularly noticeable: "We sensed that our visitors missed Luga. The need to be able to experience something again was great". A vote for live business and direct interpersonal contact," Roos continues.

The first Bea after the pandemic break from April 29 to May 8, 2022, welcomed over 300,000 visitors to the Bernexpo site. The organizer Bernexpo Groupe is delighted. "Overall, we have exceeded the result of 2019 with more than 300,000 visitors. This is a great success and shows that BEA is experiencing a veritable boom after the pandemic restrictions. Both the visitors and the approximately 750 exhibitors enjoyed the regained freedom at BEA just as much as we did as organizers - the atmosphere was great. In short, this is the BEA that people have been waiting for," explains Adrian Affolter, head of the division.

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