Although the meetings industry continues to face major challenges, it has made major strides during the past year. So, there are plenty of reasons for planners to be thankful as Thanksgiving draws near, including the following:
- The 2015 Global Meetings & Events Forecast produced by AMEX Meetings & Events and launched at IMEX America in October shows that by almost all accounts, the global meetings industry is showing strong positive growth that’s expected to continue through next year.
- The American Express Global Meetings and Events Forecast found that meetings are rising in importance and visibility for many companies around the world, as part of an overall return to business fundamentals. In 2015, activity is predicted to grow slightly, with a strong focus on meeting higher expectations and achieving more measurable results.
- Face to face is still the front-runner: While many virtual meeting options have emerged, attendees still feel that in-person meetings have the greatest impact. In a recent American Express survey, 74 percent of attendees said they believe in-person meetings are more valuable that virtual meetings. Virtual meetings are valued, however: 45 percent of respondents believe that they should be an option for all meetings.
- New hotels are on the horizon: Investment in new hotel has been sluggish since the recession, but new data from PwC predicts a boost in new hotel construction.
- Convention centers are asking for planners’ input: Existing centers are expanding and centers are investing in new facilities—and planner perspectives are being sought to design many of these properties.
- Technology is making planners’ lives easier, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
- Pocket Planner, a simple, free app from the Convention Industry Council and Social Tables—a Washington, D.C.-based hospitality company—enable planners to readily determine staffing needs, recommended F&B quantities and safety requirements.