The June 2010 MPI Business Barometer contains more good news than bad for meeting planners, especially those who work in the United States. The bottom line: Current conditions are better than they were a year ago, according to 61 percent of respondents, but the industry recovery that began in February 2010 after 18 stagnant months has begun to slow. The report also finds that:
- Employment in the meeting and event industry is increasing.
- Meeting attendance is improving.
- More meetings are being booked for 2010 and 2011, but they come with lower budgets.
- Domestic associations lead those in the European Union in the increase of activity.
- Financial problems in the EU are being felt.
Shorter lead times remain the most often-mentioned trend affecting the industry, with 10 percent of respondents calling it their No. 1 concern. The reasons behind this trend include greater budget and contract scrutiny, uncertainty about the speed of the economic recovery, and the reintroduction of meetings and events that have been postponed in recent years. Meeting planners said this truncates the time they have before an event and can negatively affect the attendee experience.
EU participants report slightly lower current and projected conditions than their North American counterparts. The lower EU conditions are likely the result of economic troubles in member nations.
The MPI Foundation Business Barometer, an ongoing real-time look at the industry, was created in April 2008. Surveys are taken every two months. MPI has 24,500 members worldwide.