Leading the way in the future of Europe’s meetings and convention industry, MMGY Hills Balfour and MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe are collaborating with global heavyweight and MICE industry leader, IMEX, to design and field a 2021/22 survey titled ‘A Portrait of European Meetings and Convention Travel: Perspectives from travellers and planning professionals’.
A first of its kind in Europe, this survey is designed to investigate beyond existing parameters, examining not only meeting planner sentiment but also crucially, the intentions and preferences of attendees. European and global destinations as well as tourism industry stakeholders have the opportunity to lead the recovery in their communities, based on when and how the meetings industry bounces back from COVID-19. This survey will help guide their decisions on investments, marketing budgets, overall growth and development strategies by providing a clear, comprehensive and timely understanding of what European meetings and conventions look like now and in the future.
As highlighted in MMGY Travel Intelligence’s recent U.S. survey, there can be profound differences between perceptions and behaviours among planners and attendees. Europe is home to the headquarters of some of the most significant global business event organisers and, with the invaluable insight provided from this survey, destinations can emerge confident in their knowledge and understanding of Europe’s outbound MICE landscape in the coming months and years.
Commenting on the US survey, Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation (NCVC), said: ‘The Meetings & Conventions survey undertaken by MMGY Travel Intelligence revealed an authentic picture of the industry’s landscape and provided invaluable insight into the US planners’ and attendees’ mindset. With the help of this accurate data, Nashville is able to create a more robust, relevant and forward-thinking M&C strategy, helping to reposition and propel our offering back into the market.’
Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, comments: “As the European meetings and events industry sets about ‘building forwards better’, these research findings will offer fresh perspectives and business information grounded in sound, representative data. We all have a visceral sense of where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through these past two years. This research intends to reveal a clearer picture of where we’re going.”
Fielded to planners all around Europe and to attendees in the U.K., Germany, France and The Netherlands, the surveys will be conducted in two waves: the first in Q4 2021 and the second in Q1 2022.
It will address relevant and timely topics such as:
- How do attendees feel about virtual and hybrid meetings and how do they think their behaviour may be impacted in 2022 and beyond?
- What conference destinations hold appeal for attendees moving forward and how have these preferences changed because of COVID-19?
- Are certain industry segments more likely than other industry segments to keep attending similar to how they did prior to COVID-19?
- What content, venues and/or incentives would be sufficiently compelling for attendees to make the decision to travel for a meeting?
- What barriers, other than the obvious health and safety concerns, need to be eliminated or mitigated?
- What meetings segments (ex. SMERF, association, corporate, etc.) do planners expect to recover first and what is the anticipated timeline?
- How can destination marketing and management organisations better meet the needs of the meetings trade now and in the future?
- How might meeting amenities or logistics affect group planning, and what new safety measures will be crucial for both planners and attendees?