Scope for digitalisation

State of digital activity in the exhibition industry

Gwen Kaufmann, m+a - Monday, September 9, 2019    

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With digitalisation accelerating in businesses around the world, the 23rd edition of the UFI Global Barometer also puts a focus on the state of digital activity in the exhibition industry. The results show that the majority of companies have responded to the accelerating process of digitalisation in the exhibition industry. However, progress is limited. The "Digitalisation Implementation Index" towards "full digitalisation" is 27 globally. China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the UK and the USA are identified as the exhibition markets currently most advanced in the digital transformation process. 58% of survey participants reported that they have added digital services/products (like apps, digital advertising, digital signage) around existing exhibitions. This is already widely established in Brazil (71%), China (72%), Italy (64%), Mexico (75%), UK (73%) and USA (62%). The companies in the exhibition industry are digitalizing themselves as well: globally, 48% stated that they have changed internal processes and workflows to be more digital. The most advanced exhibition markets here are Australia (55%), China (56%), India (55%), South Africa (53%) and the UK (91%). Less than a third (28%) of companies participating in the survey reported that they have developed a digital transformation strategy for the whole company, with Italy (55%), Mexico (50%), the UK (45%) and the USA (46%) leading. 18% have created a designated function (like a chief digital officer) in their upper/top management – led here by Germany (50%), Indonesia (30%), Mexico (33%) and Russia (54%). Finally, 13% of survey participants stated that they have launched digital products not directly related to existing exhibitions – a development especially visible in India (30%), Indonesia (30%), the UK (36%) and the USA (31%).


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Practice | Digitalisation | UFI Global Barometer | Exhibition industry | Research | UFI