Industry mood shows cautious optimism
Recovery ahead, improved business conditions,
Advanced bookings up on 2010
Corporate budgets expected to grow in 2011
Incentive business will improve
Signs show sustained growth in corporate meetings
The annual EIBTM Global Industry Trends and Market Share Report* was launched today (Tuesday 30 November) at EIBTM in Barcelona. The report compiled by Rob Davidson, Senior Lecturer in Business Travel and Tourism at The University of Westminster in London and EIBTM Industry Analyst, identifies the key trends for the meeting and incentives markets over the past 12 months and provides an outlook for 2011.
Rob discloses from the report findings that “whilst for 2010 most economists were divided on whether the global recovery would grow, stall or even reverse, now at the end of the year there is talk about favourable prospects for global recovery albeit it slow and uneven. However, the vast majority of indicators for the meetings and events industry point to improved business conditions ahead in 2011.
“Business barometers in 2010 have indicated that the industry continues its recovery apace indicating that current business conditions are better than a year ago. There is definitely a clear majority who feel optimistic about the future” he said.
Global economic context
• A mixed Picture but 2010 was a year of recovery
• Global growth likely to exceed 4% in 2011
• Growth unevenly distributed between developing and advanced nations
• Weaker dollar + rebound in strong recovery of US exports helps explain high levels of business confidence.
• Asia Pacific has brushed off the recession
• Europe split – Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain tackle budget deficits, Germany and France point to recovery
• BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India China) set to outperform the world as a whole
• By 2014 BRIC will account for 61% of the overall growth in the world’s output.
Impact of the meetings and events sector:
MPI Business Barometers in 2010 have indicated that the industry continues its recovery at an even pace. The majority of August 2010 Business Barometer respondents (62%) indicate that current business conditions are better than a year ago. At the same time, there is a clear majority feeling optimistic about the future, with 70% of Business Barometer respondents project better upcoming business conditions than a year ago. According to the same source, the domestic association conference market leads the net activity increase in the US; while in the EU, the international corporate meetings market leads the net activity increase.
Meetings and Events Industry Trends
• A discernable relaxing in restrictions on business travel
• A resurgence in corporate meetings particularly in Europe – leading a net increase in meetings activity in 2010
• Buyers have become adept at driving down costs with tough negotiations
• Shorter lead times – from 30-45 days on average in US
• Continuing trend to avoid frills and the appearance of “lavishness” in meetings – more serious in their content
• Meeting spend is “seriously conservative, highly image conscious and focused on the basics.
• Market recovered slightly in 2010 – but less than the meetings sector
• Incentives have changed – to provide a well defined ROI
• Average number of nights per trip have fallen from 6.5 to 4
• Trips are less extravagant
• Destinations are primarily domestic or shorter haul international
• Growth in long haul is due to down grade of travel from business to economy class
• Every meeting now includes a business element e.g. discussions about corporate strategy and direction
• Predictions that procurement and purchasing involvement within incentives will increase in 2010
• Associations predicting a lower onsite attendance in 2010
• Strong demand for educational content and sustainable meetings
• US domestic association conference market led the way in 2010
• Industry shows optimism in growth of volume of meetings towards the end of 2010
• Growth in the number of off-site meetings predicted in 2010 and the trend set to continue into 2011
• North American planners are reportedly less likely to postpone, cancel or rebook future meetings in 2010 than in 2009
• Those booking meetings are no longer concerned about negative publicity associated with upscale property choices or destinations.
• Outlook for incentive travel looks favourable with predictions to improve in 2011 and 2012
• Continued to dominate as a focus for association conferences 7 countries in the top 10 destinations being European
• Carlson Wagonlit Travel seen signs of economic recovery in meetings and events
• 30% of meetings organized outside their home country (10% increase on 2009)
• Popular destinations include Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Paris and Rome
• Average spend is up - €175 compared to €150 in 2009
• Cancellations down from 15 – 10%
• Growth in new cities entering the market in 2010
• Hong Kong twinning with destinations increasing awareness of secondary cities
• More destinations are targeting China for meetings and events business.
• Primary industry sectors include financial services, insurance, communications, medical and automotive
• The first major industrial economy to recover from the global recession
• Significant growth in international visitors attending meetings in 2010
• Increase of 15% over 2009 with 168,000 conventions and conferences
• Key markets of growth were from India, Korea, China and Japan
• Encouraging growth also from US and North American markets
• Rapid growth in the use of social media by venues and CVB’s as part of marketing strategies
• Also use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter to drive business to websites and to learn what the market is saying about their products and services
• Approximately one half-day each week is devoted to promoting venues on social media
Corporate Social Responsibility
• 2010 was the year where CSR is now a “given” in meetings and events
• Community service projects lead the way with interest from meeting and event planners
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