The frequency of and attendance at international business meetings will continue to grow thanks to companies' renewed confidence in an improving economy. But the meeting market is moving from Europe towards Asia meaning that the degree of growth for individual cities depends on their location.
Meetings hosted by international associations remain a steady business amid global economic uncertainty, concludes the International Congress and Convention Association after a survey of 92 international association meeting planners at this year’s IMEX Association Day in Frankfurt.
Growth was minimal in 2013, but meeting planners’ projections and improving business travel trends point towards a rebounding market for 2014.
Thirty-two percent, or 29 respondents, saw meeting attendance grow in 2013, but 68 percent, or 63 people, said 2013 attendance stayed the same or dropped.
This is a slight improvement in that 4 percent more respondents saw attendance growth in comparison to 2014 and 7 percent fewer respondents saw an attendance drop. However, the number of meeting planners seeing attendance grow remains the minority.
A more hopeful sign of growth for the meetings and conference sector is respondents’ projections for 2014. Almost 30 percent of associations plan to run more meetings in 2014 than 2013 and only 7 percent of respondents plan to host fewer meetings.
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Photo credit: Meeting buyers gather at IMEX Association Day in Frankfurt, Germany. IMEX / IMEX