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14 Future Trends to Which the Convention Industry Needs to Pay Attention to in 2015 1. Extended Low Economic Growth

The board of directors in the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), of which the chair is Francis J. Friedman, the CEO of Time & Place Strategies Inc., a consulting company located in New York, has organized the Future Trends Task Force (FTTF) comprised of high-level experts in the industry to analyze trends that can potentially affect the future of the conventional industry. After the first report in 2013, the FTTF specifies 14 future trends that can affect the convention industry for later years in its report in 2014. The FTTF clarifies that the report may not be the best guideline but it is significant as 26 experts who have secured their position in many quarters in the conventional industry show their insight into things to come in the future. The following are 14 future trends that the FTTF of IAEE suggests.
Contents

1. Extended Low Economic Growth
2. Utilization of Big Data which Began in Earnest
3. Collection of Data in the Exhibition Field with New Technologies
4. Establishing Wi-Fi Facilities and Securing Budget
5. Accelerated Introduction of New Technologies – Wearable Computing
6. Smartphones and Mobile Computing Under Constant Development
7. Elaborately Evolving Social Media Marketing
8. Preparing for Exhibitions Progressed All Year Round
9. An Exhibition as a Place of Experiences
10. Improving Quality of Face-to-face Interaction of Participating Companies
11. Further Studies on Engagement with the Exhibition
12. Preparation for Embracing the New Generation
13. Awakening of Security Issues
14. Increasing Number of M&A

1. Extended Low Economic Growth

Slow Economic Growth of Most Countries Including the U.S.

The growth of the U.S. economy has been logging slower than what the FTTF had anticipated before. The economic growth rate of the U.S. in 2014 after the fourth quarter was 2%. China’s economic growth has also slowed down, not to mention the European Union’s struggle from the low economic growth rate and high unemployment rate. Due to the decline of the financial system, the European Union is facing the economic crisis of deflation. Japan is also stuck with its low economic growth. Companies are returning high profits, and the stock market keeps growing. However, most profits are just results of financial regulation, low capital investment, salary adjustment, non-payment of dividends, and stock buy-back to reduce the number of stock issuance. Furthermore, a wage increase is rather slight compared to the rate of increase in employment, and there are still many unemployed people.

A Low Growth Rate is Expected in the Convention Industry Except for Internet-based Goods/Services

Organizers of exhibitions take a prudent attitude in investing in exhibitions. However, they keep investing into internet-based goods and service markets. It is expected that exhibition-related companies would allocate more and more budget for internet-based goods/services and related contents. The Center for Exhibition Industry and Research (CEIR) forecasted that the annual rate of economic growth would be less than 3% for the next few years and the growth rate of the exhibition industry would be a little lower than the economic growth rate. The rate of increase in the number of exhibition attendees and participating companies would also stay low. Nevertheless, the flow of the world market continuously provides opportunities in which exhibition sponsors can grow. In particular, there is a growing number of such opportunities around markets in China and developing countries. Since contents and resources to develop the economy are exhibited in industrial exhibitions, the number of overseas participants in the U.S. and other countries is expected to increase.

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