On the back of an industry-first study AAXO commissioned, it is excited to release fascinating insight on the economic impact of the exhibition industry in South Africa.
The Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) commissioned the study to assess the impact of exhibition industry on the South African economy and on the tourism industry. The study, conducted by Grant Thornton between August 2015 and February 2016, undertook to fully understand the exhibition industry, the opportunities it presents for business and its economic impact. Analysing data collected from 402 visitors, 40 exhibitors and 23 exhibitions, results demonstrate the undeniable power of exhibitions in promoting trade.
Key economic contributions to the country
As expected, the study confirmed a number of key economic benefits that exhibitions provide and their overall contributions towards the economy. Additionally, the industry is also a major contributor to the national agenda and is instrumental in addressing some of the social challenges that we face in the country. The findings show impressive contribution as follows:
- The estimated total income from direct, indirect and induced income over the period totaled a remarkable R75 billion. Direct spend alone accounted for R24.4 billion of the total spend.
- The number of jobs created over the period of the study totaled just under 153 000.
- Total salaries paid to employees in the industry were approximately R13.5 billion.
- The approximate contribution to government coffers via taxes amounted R3.3 billion.
Impact of exhibitions on tourism
Not only do exhibitions have an impact on local business but the study revealed its contribution to tourism while visitors to the country also confirmed the value of exhibitions on their businesses.
- Financial contributions were in excess of R23 billion through the 1 million visitors attracted into the country and this accounted for a third of the industry’s total contribution to GDP.
- Tourism from exhibition also helped sustain an estimated a notable 47 000 jobs.
Exhibitor satisfaction findings
Casting light on the opinion of exhibitors in assessing their satisfaction with exhibitions, the survey confirmed the level of professionalism in the industry and revealed the following:
- Most trade exhibitors were satisfied that the exhibitions met their expectations.
- An overwhelming 90% consumer and 95% of trade exhibitors confirmed that they would exhibit at the event the next time around.
- 60% of consumer and 66% of trade exhibitors confirmed that they had managed to secure deals at the exhibitions. 80% of consumer and 50% of trade exhibitors confirmed that they had secured sales leads or possible further investments into their businesses.
- A few consumer exhibitors cited low attendee turnout as a concern and the need to market the events better.
- Compared to the last study done in 2006, the number of exhibitors showed significant growth from 120 to 180, largely driven by a doubling of trade exhibitions by 2015.
- In contrast, the study also revealed that the industry still lags behind in transformation against national benchmarks. This is a focus area for AAXO whose mission it is to transform the industry.
“Exhibitions not only benefit member organisations but also prove to have far reaching economic benefits for the country as a whole”, concluded Carol Weaver, Chairperson of AAXO. “Other than giving exhibitors an opportunity to have face-to-face time with their target market, the study showed that there are spill-over benefits towards a whole array of industries.”
For more information on AAXO visit www.aaxo.co.za or contact Annamari Erwee on 011 549 8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For membership inquiries, including a full list of membership benefits and information on how to join, contact email@example.com
Issued on behalf of: Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO)
Issued by: Confabagility
Contact: Liz van der Westhuizen
Tel: 011 465 8955
Cell: +27 (0) 84 553 5462