Trade show budgets projected to decline 17% this year

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Chicago—Budgets for trade show exhibiting are expected to decline 17% this year, while the number of trade shows that exhibitors are planning to participate in should drop by about the same amount, according to the Trade Show Exhibitors Association.

According to TSEA’s newly released “2009 Exhibit Marketing Survey,” budgets for exhibiting will decrease to an average of $381,000 per company this year, down from last year’s $459,100. In addition, the average number of trade shows that companies expect to exhibit at this year is 25, down from 30 last year.

Still, TSEA says these falloffs are less than expected, given the severe economic woes of the country. A bright spot is expected to be budgets for medical, health care and pharmaceutical industry events, with this year’s budgets increasing 5%, according to the report.

Spending on technology shows will take a big hit this year, decreasing by 46%, and corporate private event budgets will decline 30%.

TSEA’s online survey polled 293 marketers in December and January. Full results are available at

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