The Summer 2021 Meetings Outlook reveals that 84 percent of respondents are fully vaccinated and feeling positive about future events.
Will live meetings be back over the next year? Fully 77% of respondents to MPI’s recently published Summer 2021 Meetings Outlook Report said the answer is a resounding yes. More than 81% said that they anticipate holding their next face-to-face event in 2021. Although the survey was conducted before the Delta variant became dominant, it suggests that the industry is ready for a rebound. A robust 84% of survey respondents have been fully vaccinated.
Among other optimistic findings in the future-focused quarterly report: A historic 93% of meeting professionals surveyed predicted favorable business conditions over the next year—compared to 36% last summer. Industry hiring, including full time, contract and part-time is up across the board.
But while hiring is up, there can be challenges filling meetings industry positions. While 49% of survey respondents said they are not having difficulties filling job vacancies, 29% reported otherwise. “The most significant trend affecting the meeting and event business is a talent shortage,” said Soundings Connect founder Tracy Judge, CMP, MS, HMCC in the Meetings Outlook Report. She cited meeting pros moving to other, more highly paid industries during the pandemic. As well, the shift to virtual and hybrid meetings may require planners to learn new skills.
Expenses Rise, Wellness Content Reigns
Other trends reported in the survey include rising prices across the board for meetings related expenses—among the highest were airfare, F&B and guest rooms. Asked to choose from a list related to destination selection, respondents gave thumbs up to 1) locations related to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion and 2) robust public transport. And 63% of respondents expressed a greater interest in wellness-specific content at meetings and events.
Meetings Outlook is supported in partnership with IMEX Group. The next report, to be published in November, “will show whether the optimism and growth are sustained trends,” said Jessie States, CMP, CMM, director, MPI Academy.