Companies in 2013 plan to keep booking meetings despite rising costs and decreasing budgets, according to the recently released American Express Meetings & Events Forecast. The phrase “doing more with less” is here to stay, it seems.

The 2013 forecast predicts that:

  • Asia will see the strongest growth in meetings activity and spending.
  • North American activity and spending will stay relatively flat.
  • Europe will likely see sharper declines, with some declines, as well, in Central and South America.
  • Group hotel rates will rise 4.7 percent in Central/South America, 4.2 percent in North America and 4 percent in Asia, while remaining flat in Europe.

The findings are based on a comprehensive survey, extensive meetings and events data, and in-depth interviews with a range of meeting professionals. The forecast also provides insight into key trends for 2013 including:

  • More local meetings prompted by budget challenges.
  • A heightened emphasis on security and stability, which will impact destination choices.
  • More challenges in getting meetings approved, which will likely reduce lead times and push costs higher.
  • Increasing engagement via social media. Planners will continue to use social media to connect with attendees and to connect attendees with one another before events, so they can make the most of their time at events. At events, social media will be used to create solidify connections and deepen the content of education sessions, presentation Q&A’s and other activities. After events, social media will be used to keep attendees connected to each other and grow those relationships.

A complimentary print version of the forecast, is available HERE.