A recent study conducted by IMEX America hints that the worst of the recession may be over, but recovery is slow. The inaugural Index of Optimism, which surveyed over 250 planners and travel executives (90 percent in the U.S., 10 percent in Canada), shows rising levels of confidence and business expectations.
Seventy-one percent of the U.S.-based participants reported that demand for business is growing; 72 percent said they are attracting new revenue sources; and more than half believe the worst of the difficulties are over. But, 51 percent admit there hasn’t been a return to pre-downturn volumes of bookings yet; 47 percent say their clients’ events are not growing in size or duration; and there is little to no increase in delegate spending.
However, there has been noted improvement in regards to other industry issues, domestically. For instance, 71 percent say meetings are becoming more environmentally responsible and sustainable; and 83 percent say there is a bigger focus on showing value and improving ROI.
The study also showed a marked difference in the respondents’ general mindsets. Those with a positive outlook stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings and argued that meetings do, in fact, drive business, while those who felt less than optimistic expressed fears of a double-dip recession and concern over the perceived negative image of meetings and excessive government involvement.
When asked about the next six months, many said continuing challenges were prompting them to be more creative with clients and within their business. Others said they needed to hire more staff, while one voiced, “We are in a better and healthier position than we have been for a long time.”
For more information on IMEX America and their studies, visit imexamerica.com.