Events Industry in 2024: A Tale of Recovery and Resilience

In the wake of the pandemic’s challenges, the global exhibition industry is not only bouncing back but thriving, as highlighted by the 32nd Global Exhibition Barometer from the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI).

The report forecasts a robust future for the industry, with revenues expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, reaching an impressive average of 115% globally in 2024.

Events Industry: Positive Global Outlook

The UFI report delves into 19 markets, offering insights into regional narratives that collectively shape the global outlook. From the Middle East to North America, the industry is witnessing increased activity, with India leading the way with a remarkable 127% revenue recovery. Even nations lower on the list, such as Thailand at 80%, are steadily progressing.

Operational activities are on the rise globally, with all regions reporting an increase in the latter half of 2023. This upward trend is anticipated to continue into 2024, with North America, the Middle East, and Africa showing the most robust growth.

Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director, and CEO at UFI, remarked, “Our report indicates that the exhibition industry not only reached pre-pandemic levels in 2023 but is also planning to grow in 2024, creating many new jobs in exhibitions worldwide. This positive news aligns with shifts in business priorities, where economic and environmental considerations are making significant progress.”

Expanding Event Companies and the Introduction of AI

Examining the concerns of exhibition organizers, the focus has shifted towards local and global economic changes, according to the same report. Challenges like internal management and the impact of digitalization, which were once top priorities, have now taken a back seat. Notably, sustainability and climate considerations have gained prominence.

The hiring landscape is buzzing, with over half of surveyed companies (52%) actively seeking new talent in the next six months. The remaining half (45%) plans to maintain their current staff numbers.

Recognizing the significance of artificial intelligence (AI), 91% of organizers acknowledge its impact on the future of exhibitions. Beyond mere acknowledgment, industry leaders are actively leveraging AI, with 37% using it for sales, marketing, and customer relations, 35% for research and development, and 20% for event production.

Achieving Sustainable Growth in the Exhibition Industry

Despite positive growth prospects, the exhibition industry faces challenges common to many sectors. Geoff Dickinson, UFI President, and CEO of DMG Events, emphasized the need to learn and adapt for sustained success. He suggested drawing valuable lessons from how other industries address similar issues.

Dickinson highlighted that, strategically, the exhibition industry is not unique, urging an openness to external perspectives and insights from other sectors. Addressing sustainability, adapting to changing customer expectations and business models, and overcoming staffing and retention challenges across diverse markets and cultures are identified as key priorities.

Insights from the Events Industry: Balancing Optimism and Challenges

Knowland and ConferenceDirect’s collaborative report, “2024 State of the Meetings Industry,” sheds light on the expectations and priorities of meeting planners and event managers in 2024.

Positive sentiments prevail, with almost half of planners anticipating increased bookings in 2024. However, the pressure to deliver exceptional events within budget constraints has led to adjustments in strategies, resulting in smaller events, a shift to secondary markets, and modifications in the overall event experience.

Key findings from the survey indicate ongoing concerns about pricing, with 47% of planners dissatisfied despite improved venue responsiveness. Opportunities in secondary markets are recognized as a cost-effective option to maintain event quality. While AI and sustainability are acknowledged, their impact on strategy remains limited, which highlights the importance of improved hotel responsiveness, despite ongoing challenges related to staffing levels and experience.

Jeff Bzdawka, CEO of Knowland, emphasized progress in hotel responsiveness but stressed the need for aligning expectations and costs for sustained growth. Larry Hanson, CMO of ConferenceDirect, highlighted planners’ optimism, signaling a positive shift toward normalcy, and stressed the importance of balancing profitability with service standards to foster lasting relationships with planners.

Leveraging Technology Rentals in the Events Industry

Leveraging Technology Rentals to Address Industry Concerns

As the exhibition and meetings industry anticipates a bright future, it’s essential to acknowledge and proactively tackle the challenges highlighted in this comprehensive overview. One innovative solution to address concerns related to budget constraints, technology integration, and the need for seamless event execution is through cutting-edge technology rentals.

  1. Budgetary Constraints: The rising costs associated with event planning, from venue expenses to audiovisual (AV) requirements, have become a pivotal concern for planners. Technology rentals provide a cost-effective alternative, allowing planners to access the latest equipment without the hefty upfront investment. This ensures that events stay within budget while still delivering a high-quality experience. (You can even rent a cheaper, better alternative to venue WiFi.)
  1. Technology Integration and AI: With 91% of organizers recognizing the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry, there’s a growing need for accessible and advanced technology solutions. Renting cutting-edge technology to power your various AI interfaces facilitates seamless integration into event operations. Planners can harness the power of AI for various purposes, from enhancing customer relations to optimizing research and development processes.
  1. Flexibility for Changing Demands: The dynamic nature of the exhibition and meetings industry demands flexibility. Renting technology provides the agility needed to adapt to evolving requirements. Whether it’s adjusting the scale of events, relocating to secondary markets, or experimenting with innovative event production techniques, technology rentals offer the necessary flexibility to meet these changing demands.
  1. Overcoming Staffing Challenges: As the industry grapples with staffing challenges, especially with less experienced hotel staff impacting events, technology rentals can bridge the knowledge gap. Offering on-site support and expertise, these rentals empower event organizers to navigate challenges seamlessly, ensuring that events run smoothly and efficiently.

As the industry forges ahead with optimism, embracing technological solutions becomes paramount. We have been a trusted partner to various businesses in the events industry for over 35 years, providing a range of technology rentals to address the diverse concerns of planners and organizers. By leveraging these solutions, the exhibition and meetings industry can not only overcome challenges but also unlock new possibilities for growth and success as professionals continue to hurdle the challenges of the industry.


A technology rental partner you can trust, Rentacomputer.com has been in business for over 30 years. We can back that up with positive reviews on Google, referrals from our accounting executives, certificates of insurance for events of all sizes, and educated employment of technicians.

Tech Travel Agent Randy MooreWhen you rent from us, you not only get the best equipment but also top-of-the-line support from qualified tech travel agents with years of experience in the technology rental and event production field. Our agents coordinate all the logistics of delivery and installation and can have techs on call to troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise with your rental technology. Our account manager Randy Moore specializes in exhibitor rentals like displays, kiosks, event engagement rentals, laptops, tablets, smartphones, internet hotspots, accessory rentals, and much more. Randy will gladly handle any questions you may have regarding rentals to make your event exhibition easier. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form.

Visit our PC & AV Rental Pricing Factors page to find out about our pricing estimates.

Do you need help setting up your trade show booth, convention exhibit, stage, or other display? Since Rentacomputer.com has been doing business in the events industry for so long, our technology travel agents are experienced in dealing with a variety of events from small to large. They can assist you with a variety of equipment rentals and the marketing options that come with them. Just request a fast, easy rental quote and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly via the communication method of your choice.

Our technicians handle everything from configuration and testing to delivery, set up, troubleshooting, tear down, and returns. Get a quote for your event technology rental needs today. Contact us today for a hassle-free exhibit rental.

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