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Meeting Industry Survey Results: The Good, Bad & Ugly

November 17, 2016

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Every year, MPI surveys seasoned meeting professionals to determine the state of the industry. And every year, the challenges shift in their level of importance.

The good news is, MPI pays careful attention to this data and works hard to support their members in whatever their challenges are to date. From last year’s data came the initiative called Meetings Move Us Forward, which helps planners justify face-to-face events.

Here is a broad brush overview of the survey results and my thoughts on how planners can use this information to their advantage.

 

Survey Results

First Up: Meeting Activity

 

Type of Meeting

Increase

Decrease

Stays the Same

Domestic Corporate

52%

6%

42%

Domestic Association

19%

19%

62%

International Corporate

14%

11%

75%

Government

3%

54%

43%

 

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that corporate meetings are moving forward due to economic recovery initiatives and governmental meetings are looking for virtual meetings or other face-to-face alternatives due to legislation and embarrassing overspends on a few conferences over the last several years.

Second: Budget News

 

  • 52% of Respondents Expect a Budget Increase
  • 36% Predict a Flat Budget and
  • 12% Expect a Budget Decrease

This is great news especially as you look to implement event rentals to grow technology presence at your next conference. Now you can rent iPads and tablet rentals to replace paper and signage at your event, as well as, other technology time savers.

Third: Budget Growth

 

  • 48% Expect less than a 10% budget growth
  • 36% Think their budget will be flat and
  • 16% Expect greater than a 10% growth

This again is great news for most meeting professionals, as at least 13% are expected to use more technology this year than last according to MPI.

Fourth: Virtual vs. Live Events Feedback from an Attendee’s View Point

 

Meeting Type

Favorable

Neutral

Negative

Live

53%

33%

14%

Virtual

68%

26%

6%

 

Without a doubt, virtual meetings will get better and better as technology improves, however if the content is right and enough attendees gather at the same venue, F2F trumps virtual every time.

Other Key Takeaways

 

  • 22% of survey participants are compressing more meetings into less time
  • 13% are holding more regional meetings to reduce travel
  • 13% are planning on using more technology at their events
  • 11% are looking for more innovative suppliers and
  • 10% are using lower-cost vendors

 

What Can You Learn from this Data?

 

  • If you are a corporate meeting planner, life is going to be good for the upcoming year both from a volume of meetings and from a budgetary prospective.
     
  • Association and Governmental planners will struggle as they try and put they continue to justify their meetings and grow attendance. Association planners will need to use volunteers wisely to cut down on staff costs while governmental planners will need to justify expenditures all along the way.
     
  • Budgets are going to grow but only by less than 10% for most meetings. When looking at audio visual rentals or computer rentals to replace paper or manual processes, it is best to take a look at the total cost, including writing, editing, printing, assembling, shipping and storing marketing materials versus an app on an mobile device rental.
     
  • Virtual meetings are going to continue to grow and be a threat to planners. Work toward hybrid meetings as a way to offer a virtual component to your meeting. And continue to meet and exceed the expectations of your attendees to get them to your conference and keep them there.

About Hartford Technology Rental

 

When looking for Audio Visual Rentals and Computer Rentals, look no further than Hartford Technology Rental to serve your meeting needs! Give us a call today at 888.520.5667 to get a quote started!

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