Conference & Meetings World Issue 91 - Page 65

Research UK, Belgium and the Netherlands express the most optimism Survey Highlights: Predicted Percentage of Meetings Per Year by Meeting Type 7% 1 20 % 6% 12 % Training % % 13 Product Launch 1 % Internal Team Meetings 11 1% 10 % Senior Leadership Board Meetings 20% % 8 7% Conferences & Tradeshows % 12 1% Advisory Central & South America In Central & South America, industry growth is expected to be modest across most categories. Local governments and companies have been instrumental in promoting the region as a meetings destination, and regional meetings professionals predict increases in both meeting duration and attendance. Mexico and Colombia are becoming increasingly popular, but both face challenges with rising hotel rates and limited supply for large groups. 6% Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific In Asia Pacific, Australia anticipates robust growth; the forecast predicts an increase in both the amount of money spent on meetings and the number of attendees. Elsewhere, other countries have expressed reservations. The combined rise of hotel rates and falling meetings activities have led to budget constraints and the predicted increase in cost per attendee. For the year ahead, respondents indicated basic meetings management and support would be prioritised to better control meetings investment and showcase value. % Location Location Location 13 Europe Geopolitical uncertainty has led to country-specific variations in industry confidence. The UK, Belgium and the Netherlands express the most optimism across several indicators. Respondents in the UK and Poland anticipate an increase in the amount of money spent on meetings, while those in other European countries predict decreasing or flat activity in 2018. With the exception of the UK, European countries expect to spend less on attendees than the previous year. Cuts in meeting length and optional activities to compensate for rate increases will be sought across all regions. Europe stands out among other regions as countries consistently predict shorter meetings. Incentives Asia Pacific Europe Central/S.America North America Source, Global Meetings & Events Forecast Infographic by Mash Media The research draws attention to changing trends regarding location. Ease of air travel is, for many, a top factor in selecting a meeting location, according to 49% of respondents in North America and 26% in Europe. For groups whose members are located around the world, finding a location that everyone can easily get to and from, without multiple connections and wait times, will always be important. However, proximity is also a major consideration. For 52% of respondents in North America and 44% in Europe, the need for a specific location type, whether it is close to an airport, training facility or a customer’s location, is a top factor in determining the location of a meeting. The research document quotes an unnamed meeting planner in Europe. It reads: “With increasing numbers of meetings and shorter meetings, travel time also needs to be reduced for many meeting types.” However, while efficient travel remains important, only 15% of respondents in Central and South America and one-quarter of those in Asia Pacific rank ease of air travel as a top factor. For these regions, economic and political instability are greater factors in their decision- making, as identified by 50% of those in Central and South America and 43% in Asia Pacific. Nearly a third of respondents in Europe identify economic and political instability as a top decision-driver and 41% of those in Asia Pacific and 33% in Europe consider safety concerns to be a top priority. ISSUE 91 / C o n f e r e n ce & M ee t i n g s W o r l d / 65