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Exhibition World | Analysis17According to almost half of the 173 exhibitioncompanies that responded to UFI's sixth GlobalExhibition Barometersurvey in December, theimpact of the recession is over. Respondents predictedan increase in turnover for the first time since UFI beganthe survey. It's a strong indication that 2011 should be amuch better year for the global industry.Flip the calendar back to January and just eight per centthought the worst of the recession was behind us. In thespace of a year we're painting a significantly more rosypicture of the exhibition industry's health.A key fact to draw from the sixth Barometersurvey is thatthe half of us that doesn't think the impact of the recessionis over, thinks we'll continue to feel the impact of therecession until well into the second half of 2012. The reasonfor this is quite simple. They are largely the respondentsfrom Europe and the US, where despite the upswing thereis still more road to travel before everyone reports improvedperformance. There is a clear geographic divide between the currentfortunes of those in the developing markets and those inthe mature markets. And ironically, it's the matureconsolidated markets - those that we might have expectedto be better protected against economic turbulence - thatwill wait longest for full stability. In terms of gross turnover, for the first half of 2011 thepercentage of companies declaring an increase variesfrom 70 per cent for the Americas or Europe to 89 per centfor the Middle East and Africa.In the Asia Pacific region, accepted as being perhapsthe greatest growth area in the international exhibitionindustry, things are looking up. Turnover in the region,which according to UFI "appeared most strongly hit" in2008, bottomed out in 2009. However, 74 per cent ofrespondents experienced an increase in turnover for thefirst half of 2010 year-on-year, 84 per cent for the secondhalf of 2010, and again, the overwhelming majority of 85per cent expects this trend to continue into 2011.Europe and the Americas show a similar, thoughlessened pattern, with 70 per cent in each regionpredicting a turnover increase into 2011.And what about profit? Well the majority of thosesurveyed in three regions (Americas, Asia/Pacific andMiddle East/Africa) registered an increase in profits of morethan 10 per cent last year, compared to 2009. Europe hasalso shown improvement, with most survey participantsnow expecting "stable" or better operating profitscompared with 2009.So far so good, but the most marked difference infeedback from the respondent regions is clear when thefocus shifts to perception of economic crisis. In all regionsexcept Europe, respondents believe the economic impactof the crisis is now over, albeit with significant variation. Inthe Americas 52 per cent believe they've seen the back ofit, while the figure is 61 per cent in Asia Pacific and 71 percent in the Middle East and Africa.Of course there are plenty of us still anticipating an endto the recession. The average speculative ending date isthe last quarter of 2011 for Middle East/Africa, the firstquarter of 2012 for Asia Pacific and the second and thirdquarters of 2012 for Europe and the Americas respectively.UFI MD Paul Woodward said the results would resonatewell with the industry. "I think the fact that the UFIBarometernow shows the majority of respondents in allfour regions predicting an increase in turnover for the firsttime since we started the survey is a good indication that2011 should be a much better year for the industryworldwide."So on a global level, the survey confirms the exhibitionindustry has now left the depressed business environmentof the past two years behind. We've returned to strengthand hopefully learned a few lessons along the way. Fingerscrossed the bankers can do the same.Greener pasturesTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| February 2011|UFI's sixth Global Exhibition Barometer paints a rosier picture of the industry than manyof us would have expected. EWtakes a look at what the market expects from 2011.What are this year's biggest talking pointsfor CEOs?State of the national/regional economy - 23%Internal management challenges - 20%Global economic uncertainty - 19%Local/national competition from within the exhibition industry - 16%Environmental challenges - 9%Competition from other media - 6%Integration with other media - 5%