The 2017 spring edition of Meetings Outlook, Meeting Professional International’s quarterly report on the meetings industry, shows that planners are bullish on the market. Sixty-nine percent of respondents predict favourable business conditions (up 11 percent since the last quarter) and 52 percent expect upticks in budget/spend over the next year.
Other key findings include:
- 48 percent of respondents report good availability of space for 2017 meetings; 61 percent say the same for booking 2018 meetings.
- 21 percent of respondents have significantly increased sustainability practices in the past five years; 28 percent have either decreased or not increased such practices.
- Attendance at live and virtual events is expected to grow by 1.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.
- Projected live attendance: 55 percent positive, 27 percent flat and 17 percent negative.
However, the number one trend cited in the report is the challenge presented by the ever-increasing number of technology opportunities available and their cost. Respondents said that audiovisual (AV) is viewed as a significant budget item—and budgets for AV continue to grow.
Reasons for the budget growth include meeting attendee demand for “wow” AV productions, and the view that creatively-used AV is a competitive advantage. It is also widely seen as a tool to increase engagement by drawing attendee attention from smartphones. Alternatively, many planners are finding ways to incorporate smartphones into their event’s AV production.
Another issue affecting the industry is the Trump administration’s proposed changes to U.S. immigration and travel policies. Canadian and U.S. planners surveyed were divided about the potential impact of the changes. Forty-six percent of Canadian planners and 50 percent of U.S. planners said that the policies were having no affect on their business. However, 45 percent (Canadian) and 46 percent (U.S.) said the changes were bad for business.
European Union event pros were less concerned, with 71 percent saying the changes have no affect versus 28 percent who said they were bad for their business. Nine percent of U.S. respondents said the proposed policies were good for their business.
Download the report at mpiweb.org/Portal/Research/meetingsoutlook.
About Meetings Outlook
Meetings Outlook is developed in partnership with MGM Resorts International and supported in partnership with IMEX Group. The research, which is conducted by Association Insights, is from MPI’s Business Research Panel. The report contains future-focused data that identifies new trends and innovations. This data gives planners the opportunity to budget and plan accordingly. Meetings Outlook is published quarterly.