According to incomplete statistics, in 2017, more than 10,000 exhibitions were hosted in China, with the overall area of more than 120 million square meters, direct revenues of approximately CNY 55 billion and indirect revenues of more than CNY 400 billion. The scale of exhibitions continues to grow. There are more than 100 large-scale exhibitions with an area of over 100,000 square meters.
According to CRI, the exhibition industry is mostly thriving in the economically developed regions, showing a strong correlation between exhibitions and regional economy. The exhibition industry is most mature in the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Bohai Rim. With the development of the exhibition industry, the construction of exhibition infrastructure is also accelerating. From 2010 to 2017, the number of major exhibition halls in China increased from 86 to 153, and the indoor rentable areas grew from 3.73 million square meters to 9.35 million square meters. As the National Convention and Exhibition Centre (Shanghai) was built up, the total areas of pavilions in the city leap to the first place in the world, having great impacts on the adjustment of global layout in exhibition industry.
On the whole, China is a big country of exhibitions, but not a strong powered one yet. Most exhibitions cannot reach high quality especially for lack of internationalization and only a small number of overseas exhibitors and visitors come to participate.
CRI report shows that in the past 10 years, the economy of China has developed rapidly and the country has become one of the global major manufacturing bases and consumer countries. The development of the exhibition industry is closely linked to the hotspots of Chinese economy. For example, with the development of the automobile industry and other manufacturing industries as well as the rising purchasing power of residents, the exhibitions of automobiles, industries and consumption have achieved rapid growth. Global brands such as Reed exhibitions, Messe Frankfurt, Fiera Milano, Deutsche Messe and Messe München have already made inroads into the Chinese market and established joint ventures or private-funded enterprises as well as building up a series of well-known brands like Metalworking and CNC Machine Tool Show (MWCS), Industrial Automation Show (IAS), CeMAT, HOTELEX and Transport logistic China. The branch enterprises of the giants have hosted exhibitions in China and yielded great success after they introduced mature exhibition modes from abroad.