Prior to the pandemic, trade shows accounted for almost one-fifth (17.3%) of the total B2B market’s revenue in the US. But, as social-distancing measures and travel bans quashed all but a small share of in-person events in 2020 and into 2021, PwC estimates [subscription required] that trade shows now represent only 5.6% of the US B2B market.
As part of its analysis, PwC examined the broader B2B market in the US, which is made up of the following areas: Business Information; Directory Advertising; Trade Shows; Professional Books; and Trade Magazines.
Although PwC estimates that this year the B2B trade show market will grow by 70.7% over last year, jumping from $4.1 billion in 2020 to $7 billion, it’s still well below the $15.6 billion seen in 2019.
Indeed, despite trade shows being forecast to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.4% between 2020 and 2025 — reportedly the fastest-growing sector of the B2B market — revenues from trade shows are still predicted to be lower in 2025 ($15.4 billion) than they were in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
Business Information Market Set for Faster Recovery
By comparison, the B2B business information market was not as drastically impacted as the trade show market by the pandemic. Revenues in this market saw a relatively mild year-over-year decrease of 5.7% in 2020. As a result, PwC reports that business information’s share of the total US B2B market increased to 78.5% in 2020, up from 67.8% in 2019.
The comparatively minimal impact the events of 2020 had on the business information market means it’s primed for a much quicker recovery. In fact, estimates show that by 2022, revenues will total $66.3 billion, surpassing the $60.9 billion seen in 2019.
Growth is also expected to continue into the near future, with PwC forecasting a 4.5% CAGR in revenue between 2020 and 2025. The report also notes that the new way of working brought on by the pandemic, including virtual meetings, will benefit the B2B business information sector. It postulates that “the successful adoption and retention of remote working methods will fuel demand for data and analytics services over the coming year,” bolstering the already growing demand for data-powered research and analytics.
The full report can be found here.