Association Meetings Forecasts and Trends Report
DATE: November 2009
RESPONDENTS: IMEX and ICCA conducted research into the forecasts and trends of association meetings, involving a global audience of 100 association meeting planners in October 2009.
FINDINGS: Association meeting planners feel resilient in the face of economic adversity and confident about the sector’s prospects for 2010. While 65% say the economic downturn has had an impact on their association, the overall effect is more one of careful buying and planning decisions than a reduction in the number of meetings. 71% expect to hold the same number of meetings in 2010, with a further 17% predicting more meetings than previously.
Regarding the size of their largest meeting compared to previous years, 28% of respondents anticipate slightly lower numbers but another 28% expect numbers to be in line with past events. In terms of attendance at meetings in 2010, 40% expect numbers to be up with just 16% expecting attendance to drop. 35% expect costs at their selected events destinations to go down while 24% forecast a rise in prices, but 39% anticipate no change.
When it comes to buying patterns, 11% strongly agree with the statement, “we intend to select lower-cost destinations/venues for future meetings”, with a further 35% simply agreeing. A similar proportion agrees they intend to select lower-cost delegate accommodation or hotels. 34% expect sponsorship levels to remain steady in 2010 but 28% expect them to drop somewhat.
Anecdotal responses point to the planners continuing to feel the need to seek good commercial value. 68% feel that focusing on “maintaining or achieving higher participant levels” is currently very important while 53% view “how to offer better value for money” as their highest priority. Appealing to younger delegates is very important for 44%. On the issue of climate change, 61% feel it is no more important than before whereas 25% feel it is becoming more important.