Skift Take

Asia on the up, Europe on the rise, North America flatlines: that's a litany across many industries, not just meetings and business travel. And for meetings, that means effects on hotel industry as a result.

The meeting and conventions industry, annoyingly nicknamed MICE, will have a flat growth 2013 in North America and declines in Europe, while Asia and LatAm wil see fast growth, according to a new survey as part of American Express Meetings & Events “2013 Meetings Forecast.”
2012 brought optimism back to the meetings and events industry as companies began to grow their meetings programs again and bring back critical business events that were put on hold during the recession, but in 2013, the uncertainty of the global economy, and the financial situation in the European Union in particular, is forcing meeting planners around the world to proceed with caution, the forecast says.

The combination of budget challenges and the associated shift towards more locally hosted meetings are the top trends within all regions. Below are four trends pointed out in the survey:

  • Budget Challenges Mean More Local Meetings: Planners are being asked by their companies to ‘do more with less’ and many are finding that their tighter meeting budgets are not approved until their company’s previous quarter results are known. This dynamic is putting increased pressure on already reduced lead times…The shift away from global to national, or national to regional meetings is a direct result of this increased caution and continued pressure on cost containment.
  • Security & Stability Impacting Destination Choice: Concerns regarding safety and security, as  well as economic and political instability are expected to have a big impact on making decisions. Safety and security concerns can be driven by either  fear of a criminal threat or the possibility of public unrest as we witnessed in the Arab Spring of 2011.  Countries such as Mexico continue to suffer from  the perception amongst some meeting planners that their attendees may not be completely safe.
  • The Meeting Approval Challenge: In all regions, over 40% of meeting planners surveyed indicate that gaining approvals for their meetings is becoming at least slightly more difficult. Planners in North America are the least likely to agree but that may be because many of them have already installed strong approval processes.
  • Social Media: Incorporating social media into meetings is a topic that is high on the list of priorities for meeting owners around the world, but for many, it is unclear what that means, and how to do it effectively. While the planned and purposeful use of social media within meetings and events appears to be relatively nascent, the continued adoption of smartphones combined with the participation of increasingly social media-savvy attendees is pushing meeting planners to incorporate social media as a mainstream component of meetings going forward.

Full report embedded below:  

2013 Meetings Forecast AMEX by skiftnews

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Tags: meetings and events, travel trends

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