Until recently international exhibitions have been drawing tens and hundreds of thousands visitors and served as a powerful accelerator of global trade. The pandemic put the entire event industry (forums, concerts, etc.) on a prolonged hold, and a wide event river turned into a tiny beck of online catalogues, online events and trade webinars.
For decades the global exhibition industry has been showing a sustainable growth on most of the indicators.
By the late 2010s tens of exhibitions in the EU, China, UAE and the Americas boasted attendance of over 100 thousand people. 32 thousand exhibitions were held throughout the world with 4.5 mln. participating companies and 303 mln. visitors. In 2018 the exhibition industry contributed 325 billion US dollars into the economic growth in terms of contracts concluded as a result of exhibitions.