The annual EIBTM Global Industry Trends and Market Share Report was launched on Tuesday, 30 November, at EIBTM in Barcelona. The report compiled by Rob Davidson, Senior Lecturer in Business Travel and Tourism at The University of Westminster in London and EIBTM Industry Analyst, identifies the key trends for the meeting and incentives markets over the past 12 months and provides an outlook for 2011.
Davidson discloses from the report findings that "whilst for 2010 most economists were divided on whether the global recovery would grow, stall or even reverse, now at the end of the year there is talk about favourable prospects for global recovery albeit it slow and uneven. However, the vast majority of indicators for the meetings and events industry point to improved business conditions ahead in 2011."
"Business barometers in 2010 have indicated that the industry continues its recovery apace indicating that current business conditions are better than a year ago. There is definitely a clear majority who feel optimistic about the future," he said.
Global economic context
A mixed picture but 2010 was a year of recovery
Global growth likely to exceed 4% in 2011
Growth unevenly distributed between developing and advanced nations
Weaker dollar + rebound in strong recovery of US exports helps to explain high levels of business confidence
Asia Pacific has brushed off the recession
Europe split – Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain tackle budget deficits, Germany and France point to recovery
BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) set to outperform the world as a whole
By 2014 BRIC will account for 61% of the overall growth in the world's output
Impact of the meetings and events sector: MPI Business Barometers in 2010 have indicated that the industry continues its recovery at an even pace. The majority of August 2010 Business Barometer respondents (62%) indicate that current business conditions are better than a year ago. At the same time, there is a clear majority feeling optimistic about the future, with 70% of Business Barometer respondents project better upcoming business conditions than a year ago. According to the same source, the domestic association conference market leads the net activity increase in the US; while in the EU, the international corporate meetings market leads the net activity increase.
Meetings and Events Industry Trends
A discernable relaxing in restrictions on business travel
A resurgence in corporate meetings particularly in Europe – leading a net increase in meetings activity in 2010
Buyers have become adept at driving down costs with tough negotiations
Shorter lead times – from 30-45 days on average in US
Continuing trend to avoid frills and the appearance of "lavishness" in meetings – more serious in their content
Meeting spend is "seriously conservative, highly image conscious and focused on the basics."
Market recovered slightly in 2010 – but less than the meetings sector
Incentives have changed – to provide a well defined ROI
Average number of nights per trip have fallen from 6.5 to 4
Trips are less extravagant
Destinations are primarily domestic or shorter haul international
Growth in long haul is due to down grade of travel from business to economy class
Every meeting now includes a business element e.g. discussions about corporate strategy and direction
Predictions that procurement and purchasing involvement within incentives will increase in 2010
Associations predicting a lower onsite attendance in 2010
Strong demand for educational content and sustainable meetings
US domestic association conference market led the way in 2010
Industry shows optimism in growth of volume of meetings towards the end of 2010
Growth in the number of off-site meetings predicted in 2010 and the trend set to continue into 2011
North American planners are reportedly less likely to postpone, cancel or rebook future meetings in 2010 than in 2009
Those booking meetings are no longer concerned about negative publicity associated with upscale property choices or destinations
Outlook for incentive travel looks favourable with predictions to improve in 2011 and 2012
Continued to dominate as a focus for association conferences, with seven countries in the top 10 destinations being European
Carlson Wagonlit Travel seen signs of economic recovery in meetings and events
30% of meetings organized outside their home country (10% increase on 2009)
Popular destinations include Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Paris and Rome
Average spend is up - €175 compared to €150 in 2009
Cancellations down from 15-10%
Growth in new cities entering the market in 2010
Hong Kong twinning with destinations increasing awareness of secondary cities
More destinations are targeting China for meetings and events business
Primary industry sectors include financial services, insurance, communications, medical and automotive
The first major industrial economy to recover from the global recession
Significant growth in international visitors attending meetings in 2010
Increase of 15% over 2009 with 168,000 conventions and conferences
Key markets of growth were from India, Korea, China and Japan
Encouraging growth also from US and North American markets
Rapid growth in the use of social media by venues and CVB's as part of marketing strategies
Also use of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter to drive business to websites and to learn what the market is saying about their products and services
Approximately one half-day each week is devoted to promoting venues on social media
Corporate Social Responsibility
2010 was the year where CSR is now a "given" in meetings and events
Community service projects lead the way with interest from meeting and event planners
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