After Cvent’s annual Global Planner Sourcing Report noted a positive uptick in meetings this year, Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) 2018 Summer Edition of its Meetings Outlook Report announced similar findings—which is excellent news for planners.
The report highlights future industry trends and predictions from MPI members and those on MPI’s Business Research Panel. Here are five takeaways from it that meeting planners can keep in mind when planning meetings for the rest of the year.
Favorable Business Conditions
Meetings are on the rise, as 66 percent of respondents predict favorable business conditions, with 2.8 percent growth expected over the next year.
It’s a Seller’s Market
Additionally, 67 percent of respondents describe the current business climate as a seller’s market, and only 13 percent reported buyer’s market conditions.
Budgets Are Stable
Respondents reported that their projected budgets over the next year will remain stable and even expect minor increases of about 2 percent.
Contracts Are Getting More Complex
Contract negotiations seem to be getting more difficult for planners, with 54.9 percent reporting that they are becoming more complex and 22.8 percent concluding that the negotiations focus on different issues than in the past. Only 3.1 percent reported these negotiations getting easier. It’s also interesting to note that 69 percent of respondents reported having a high ability (compared to moderate or low abilities) in contract negotiation skills.
Virtual Complements Live Events
For the first time in almost three years, the report predicted that live event attendance will grow more than virtual attendance, possibly indicating that the virtual component is simply a tool to enhance live events as opposed to threatening it. However, that difference is very minor (1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively).