Space sold at Asian trade fairs in 2017 grows faster than forecast: UFI

UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has released the 14th edition of its Trade Fair Industry in Asia annual report.

The annual report provides detailed information up to December 31, 2017, on the development of trade fairs and supporting facilities in 17 markets including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

The results of this study reinforces Asia’s position as one of the most dynamic trade fair markets in the world

Looking at the growth of Asian exhibitions in terms of net space sold, there was an average increase of 7%, reaching 22 million square metres. More than half of the total net space sold was in China (58%), totalling 13 million square metres, which is over six times the amount of space sold in Japan, Asia’s second largest trade fair market (2 million square metres).

Cambodia was the fastest growing small market, with net space sold up by 28%, while India was the fastest growing large market, up 11% from 1.07 million to 1.18 million square metres. Several other large markets reported less significant growth. Net space sold expanded by 5.1% in Australia and 4% in Taiwan.

Other South-east Asian markets that exceeded the regional average included Malaysia (12.1%), the Philippines (8%), Thailand (7.6%) and Singapore (7.5%). Vietnam (7%) and Indonesia (6.7%) posted growth in line with the regional average.

For the first time, South Korea surpassed one million net square metres sold, with a market increase of 4.4%. Japan’s market expanded by 2.9%, while space constraints limited Hong Kong’s growth to 2.2%, bringing it close to 1 million net square metres sold (967,750m2).

According to the Trade Fair Industry in Asia annual report’s forecast, by the end of 2018, the venue capacity in Asia will reach over nine million square metres and the number of venues operating in Asia will increase to 230.

In 2019, the opening of a new venue in Shenzhen, China, will add 400,000 square metres of gross indoor capacity to the regional total causing this figure to rise again.

UFI Asia-Pacific regional manager and BSG managing director, Mark Cochrane stated: “The trade fair industry in Asia strengthens year by year. Not only did the market expand by 7% in 2017, but there are also now four markets with over 1 million net square metres sold – China, Japan, India and Korea. Hong Kong and Taiwan are poised to surpass that milestone in the next few years. All of this reinforces Asia’s position as one of the most dynamic trade fair markets worldwide.”

The report also includes analysis on actual market performance in 2017 as well as forecasts and commentary on key trends in each market.

The research was once again undertaken for UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, by Business Strategies Group (BSG) in Hong Kong.

For more information on this report, please contact UFI in Asia at

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