Improved economic trends, combined with continued global expansion of companies, will drive growth in the worldwide meetings industry in 2016, according to the annual Global Meetings & Events Forecast.
The forecast, made up of surveys, data and interviews with industry leaders, was compiled by American Express Meetings and Events.
Look for these trends
- The number of meetings will rise as companies invest in face-to-face meetings, driven in part by fewer budget constraints. European planners predicted the highest number of gatherings, Asian respondents the lowest.
- Orlando, Fla., replaces Chicago as the top North American destination choice among planners. Other top destinations per region include London, Singapore and Rio de Janeiro.
- North America, Asia-Pacific and Central/South America will show consistent increases in meetings activity. European survey responses were mixed, with some respondents predicting small declines in France for training meetings and product launches.
- North American meeting professionals still need the longest lead time for planning: 18 weeks (4.5 months) compared with eight weeks in Asia-Pacific, seven weeks in Europe and six weeks in Central/South America.
- Hotel rates for group meeting and travel will rise the highest in North America (up 4.2 percent), with European hotels posting a 2.3 percent increase and 1.5 percent each in Asia-Pacific and Central/South America.
- Air travel costs will increase 1.9 percent worldwide. It’s expected to increase the most in Europe.
- Planners will look for more ways to incorporate mobile apps and social media technology to connect with younger audiences.
- Meeting budgets will increase from 1.4 percent in Central and South America to 2.1 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Meetings will remain an area rife with potential risks and penalties for corporations, making compliance an even more important priority.
To download a copy of the report, go HERE.