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IAPCO publishes 2021 members statistics #GMID


IAPCO shares its members' 2021 statistics to celebrate  Global Meetings Industry Day 2022. These statistics are based on annual return data provided by IAPCO members.

IAPCO's community of 138 PCO offices in 40 countries around the globe goes through an extensive accreditation process, and regular audits to ensure quality standards are maintained. Despite the turbulences of the past 2 years, IAPCO membership remains extremely strong with a 99% retention rate and new applications currently being processed.

"The immense value that our Members place in their Membership of IAPCO is evident in this years’ annual retention rate which stands at an enviable 99%. This is a remarkable success story in light of the global pandemic and in comparison, to what many other  associations are experiencing." says Ori Lahav, IAPCO President.

It will come as no surprise that employment has been impacted by the crisis: with 7,163 staff around the world, the IAPCO Membership community is down 20% and back to 2017 levels. However, members have indicated high activity in recruitment through the latter part of 2021 and into 2022 as the meetings industry re-opens globally.

11,945 events were delivered in 2021. Switching to virtual and hybrid event formats has significantly raised the number of attendees from previous years with 14 million in total . The ratio of attendees is 2/3 virtual and 1/3 in person. 

"Collectively, our members have doubled the number of attendees from 2019. Reaching new audiences, providing accessibility and inclusivity for all around the globe has been a positive outcome of these virtual and hybrid formats" said Martin Boyle, IAPCO CEO.

The industry sector of the events delivered has also significantly changed, with 60% now being association meetings, vs 4% governmental and 24% corporate, where corporate represented more than 50% of the meetings organised pre-pandemic. Whilst corporates were able to deliver and report on the meetings they had, association events are seen as essential to the functioning of society and, as such, associations’ meetings continued in different formats throughout the pandemic.

With the shift to virtual and hybrid formats, sqm exhibition sales were anticipated to be significantly reduced from pre-pandemic. This information was therefore not requested in the 2021 survey. However, very interesting to note that sponsors and exhibitors continued their support with close to 300m euros invested in IAPCO Member client events in 2021.

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