The Future Looks Bright for International Meetings
There’s good news on the international association meetings front. Increased budget and higher attendance numbers are predicted, according to a new survey by Marketing Challenges International.
Those of you who plan or host international association meetings can breathe a sigh of relief: Things are looking up for 2014 and beyond.
According to a new survey by Marketing Challenges International (MCIntl), 40 percent of association executives report increased budgets and higher attendance at international events from the previous two years, and 91 percent of planners expect those budgets to increase or remain the same for their upcoming events.
These findings are a part of the first “Trends in International Meetings From North America” report [PDF], which looked at trends in programming, research and planning, and site selection. “This survey confirms the trends we have been tracking while marketing leading international destinations,” said MCIntl President Michel Couturier. Among the survey findings:
Budget and attendance. Close to 90 percent of respondents said their program budgets for international meetings have either increased or remained the same over the past two years, with an average increase of 14 percent. In addition, 37 percent expect that budgets will increase for their next event. On the attendance front, 77 percent said it had increased or remained the same over the past two years.
Resources. During the research and planning stages, convention bureaus and visitor boards are crucial resources for planners: 83 percent of respondents reported using their services in some capacity. These include site visits (74 percent), marketing materials (52 percent), and venue-finding services (45 percent). For conducting research, 75 percent of planners used the bureau’s website, while 38 percent used its online meeting-planning guide, meaning that a user-friendly and informative website must be a top priority for CVBs. Other important resources were regional hotel sales offices (47 percent) and local association chapters (43 percent).
Venues and location. The three most common types of venues used for international association meetings were hotel chains (84 percent), convention centers (62 percent), and independent hotels (58 percent). Europe remains dominant in hosting international meetings: 65 percent of surveyed planners held their last international meeting there, and 47 percent are planning to hold their next meeting there. Coming in second was Asia, with 22 percent holding their most recent meeting there and 24 percent planning their next one in the region. Other places drawing interest from planners include Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.
Is your association seeing the same trends when it comes to its international meetings and events? Please share in the comments.