Exhibitions and Trade Fairs play a powerful multiplier effect on the overall economy by contributing 10 to 12 times of their turnover to the geographical area served. Estimating the Global exhibition industry turnover to be US$ 28 to US$ 35 billion, the economic impact of this activity as per a conservative estimate is US$ 280 billion. Many countries across the globe have effectively used Exhibitions in shaping the economy of their countries. Globally Governments understand the potential of Exhibitions – Invest in Exhibition Infrastructure and Support Events. Countries like USA, China, Germany, Italy, France, Russia etc. have effectively leveraged the power of exhibitions to further support their overall growth. According to industry estimates, over Rs. 3,00,000 crore of business is transacted through exhibitions/trade fairs in India annually, while the direct spend of the Indian Exhibition industry is estimated to be over Rs. 25,000 crore with more than 700 shows held annually in the organised sector. With a steady growth rate of almost 8%, the exhibitions sector is growing faster than the GDP of the country, while also being a   colossal employment provider in the country directly employing over 1,18,000 people.

Key contributing factors and highlights of the Indian Exhibition Industry


  • India is third largest trade fair market after China and Japan in Asia.
  • Exhibition Industry growth rates in India are above the regional average in Asia, around 8%in last 2-3 years.
  • With upgrades and expansions of infrastructure, India would post double-digit growth rates for several consecutive years.
  • Exhibitions are Economic Growth Engines and act as a catalyst for overall economy, business and trade.
  • Acts as a catalyst for MAKE IN INDIA and the manufacturing industry in India
  • Benefit Travel, Tourism, Food & Hospitality, etc.
  • Provide Business and Employment opportunities in related and ancillary sectors.
  • Bring Innovations, Convergence, Collaborations, New Business Prospects, Trade and Marketing Opportunities.
  • Exhibitions boost education and bring professional development to the local community and help create jobs.
  • Exhibitions industry generates significant social and economic benefits.
  • Create exposure   to   new Innovations, Technology, Business Opportunities and Markets.
  • Enhance Brand  Image  of Country/State/City.

In light of the aforementioned contributing factors, IEIA has submitted a representation to Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India- which has been given the charge as a nodal body for identifying and working on Champion sectors in India. An IEIA delegation recently met Sh. Suresh Prabhu, Honourable Minister of Commerce on June 20, 2018 to present the case for inclusion of Exhibitions in the list of Champion sectors being an important Service sector of the country. The Govt. of India is currently emphasising the importance of Service industry through its ‘India Services’ campaign. Various studies substantiate that with support and favourably policy of the Government the exhibitions sector in India can grow 4X (four times) its current size by 2025 and could enable business transaction of over Rs. 10,00,000 crore (Ten lakh cores) through exhibitions and trade fairs.

The association has also submitted a copy of the recently conducted Exhibition Industry Research report to the Ministry to support its case requesting recognition of the great potential of this sector. This report outlines the key growth drivers, role of government and opportunities ahead of the exhibition sector in India as compared to its global counterparts.

Action Demand by Government of India INCLUDE IN CHAMPION SECTORS

Exhibition Industry enables a business of over Rs.3 lakh crore annually and has the potential to scale up growth by 100%

Inclusion in the list of ‘Champion Sectors’ will help in developing the Exhibition Industry and realize its true potential.

  • Assist in developing Exhibition Infrastructure.
  • Grants / Viability Gap Funds for setting up Exhibition Infrastructure.
  • Access to long term maturity loans.
  • Provide relief from obtaining numerous permissions from State Governments/Municipalities for organizing Trade Fairs. Exempt requirement of permissions while conducting shows at purpose – built venues (begin with at Government/ PPP promoted venues).
  • Create budgets under all departments of Governments to participate in trade fairs/exhibitions.


  • Give thrust to promoting India as potential destination for trade Fairs and Exhibitions (Countries like USA, China, UK, etc. have successfully leverage the potential of Trade Fairs in building their industry/economy)
  • Support “MEET IN INDIA” campaign, both financially and through the promotional channels of Government.


  • SUPPORT MSME: 80% entities participating in Exhibitions in India are MSMEs, who are burdened with 18% GST and are unable to avail in-put credit. Levy 5% GST on MSME units.

 Permit Venues to levy IGST (instead of CGST) on Event

Organizers conducting events from other cities/states.


SUBSIDY ON VENUE RENTALS: Many countries subsidise Venue Rentals, as Governments gain manifold indirect revenue when trade fairs are conducted. Government to consider 50% subsidy on venue rentals for Trade Fairs.

  • Investment Linked Deduction under Section 35AD of Income Tax Act for establishing new/additional purpose built exhibition infrastructure.