According to a new study conducted for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the PCMA Education Foundation and American Express by Ypartnership, meeting cancellations and postponements throughout 2009 and 2010 will result in $781 million in lost room revenue and $2.5 billion of lost revenue for host destinations, lodging accommodations and meeting service suppliers. The study surveyed 516 professional meeting planners working for corporations or associations.
Respondents said the economy was the No. 1 reason for meeting cancellations or postponements for calendar years 2009 and 2010. But the second-biggest reason meetings were called off was image/publicity/public policy considerations. More than half (56 percent) said that attendance at 2009/2010 events would be lower than at comparable 2008 events. And, on average, they expected to pay $81,000 in cancellation/rebooking fees for meetings they intended to cancel, postpone or rebook in 2009/2010.
“The insights revealed in this survey confirm what most in the industry have assumed to be true in recent months: The economy is the primary culprit for the challenges now facing the industry,” says PCMA and PCMA Education Foundation President and CEO Deborah Sexton. “But professional planners are clearly concerned about the image issues and negative rhetoric associated with hosting meetings as well.”
PCMA Education Foundation Chair Michael Payne says that the study clearly shows the need for a public-information campaign to clarify how meetings and conventions stimulate the economy and create jobs. To that end, the foundation will continue to fund research to help industry professionals make the case for meeting.
- 44 percent expect to plan fewer events in 2009/2010 than in 2008
- 47 percent expect to plan the same number of events
- Planners intend to make greater use of alternative meeting methods, including Webinars (54 percent), teleconferencing (48 percent) and videoconferencing (30 percent)
- 52 percent of meetings booked were for 100 attendees or less
- 12 percent of respondents planned off-site meetings for more than 1,000 attendees
- 53 percent said the average daily rate they paid for lodging was between $150 and $199/night
- Hotels were the most frequently-used meeting venue (71 percent), followed by resorts (14 percent) and conference centers (10 percent)
- 47 percent expect to decrease booking off-site meetings at resorts
- 11 percent expect to increase booking off-site meetings at hotels