PCMA Convene’s 26th Annual Meetings Market Survey published earlier this year polled about 300 meeting planners and compared their responses to data collected over the last 10 years.
Here are five key insights that show how the meetings industry has changed in the past decade.
Budget for Exhibitions Is Still Down
The survey showed that 82 percent of respondents held at least one event with exhibits each year. That said, the budgets for these meeting planners’ largest events with an exhibition was $1.5 million in 2016, exactly $1 million less than the $2.5 million budget allotted for these events in 2007. Budgets for meeting planners whose largest event did not have an exhibition, however, remained fairly the same with their budgets averaging $800,000, compared to $789,000 in 2007.
Total Budget Is Up Though
While exhibition budgets may be down, total budgets for meetings is up. The yearly average in 2016 was $7 million, while the average in 2007 was only $5.4 million.
App Development Becomes Most-Popular Outsourcing Service
Technology is a big meeting component that is now being outsourced. In 2016, respondents named app development and deployment as the most-popular outsourced service (at 60 percent), while event-supply rentals were the most popular in 2007.
Expositions Are Growing
Expositions are growing in more ways than one. Respondents indicated that the average attendance at their largest convention or exposition in 2016 was 5,211, compared to 4,400 in 2007. That also means that total exhibition space was up, with 125,200 sf of space being used on average in 2016 compared to 98,800 sf in 2007.
So Are Small Meetings
Just because exposition numbers are up, doesn’t mean small meetings numbers aren’t, too. The average number of small meetings held in 2016 was 40, compared to 34 in 2007. Even more were held in 2015 (50) and 2014 (46).