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UFI’s World Map of Exhibition Venues Shows Growth of Global Venue Space

As the total amount of exhibition space available around the world continues to grow, exhibition organizers have a more and more diverse choice of venues available in their target markets. Data released today by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, shows that the number of venues offering more than 100,000 sq.m. of gross indoor exhibition space is the fastest growing segment, while the number of venues offering at least 5,000 sq.m. of gross exhibition space also continues to grow.

Venue capacity is an important element for the exhibition industry and the resulting economic development it generates. With the “World Map of Exhibition Venues,” UFI regularly produces a global census of all exhibition venues with a minimum of 5,000 sq.m. of gross indoor exhibition space.

Offering a preliminary view of the full report that will be available in December, UFI communicated on the consolidated results of the 2017 edition of the World Map, which highlights trends and developments in recent years.

Currently, there are 1,221 exhibition venues with a minimum of 5,000 sq.m. of gross exhibition space around the world and the total global venue space is 34.9 millions sq.m., a 7.2 percent increase over the last six years. During this same period, the number of large venues offering more than 100,000 sq.m. of space has grown to 61, a staggering 27 percent increase in just six years.

Due to a surge in venue projects in Asia/Pacific, driven primarily by China, there is now more venue space available in this region than in North America. That being said, Europe retains its global lead on available venue capacities with 45.4 percent of the global market share (down 2 percent  compared to 2011), ahead of Asia/Pacific with 23.6 percent (up 3.3 percent) and North America with 23.4 percent (down 1 percent).

Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director, says: “We are pleased to see that in recent years, additional venue space has become available in almost all regions of the world. Venue investments are long-term investments–so these trends underline the positive outlook for the exhibition industry mid- to long-term. In addition to adding new space, many venue operators have also made significant investments to upgrade their existing venue capacities.”

In line with UFI’s mission to provide vital data to the entire industry, several infographics related to these first insights are available free of charge on the UFI website at The full report, which will be available in December, will include data for each region and for the main national markets. It will also include a list of all venues with a minimum of 100,000 sq.m. of gross indoor exhibition space.

UFI would like to thank the following organizations, who helped collect the data for this research: AAXO (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEV (United Kingdom), AFE (Spain), AMAREF (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), BSG (UFI/BSG Asia/Pacific report), CAEM (Canada), CENTREX (Central Europe), CLC VECTA (The Netherlands), EXPO EVENT (Switzerland), FAIRLINK (Scandinavia), FEBELUX (Belgium/Luxemburg), RUEF (Russian Federation), TFYD (Turkey), TSNN (US), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).


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