Meetings industry will boom in 2012, finds American Express

The majority of events suppliers expect there to be more corporate meetings in 2012, research from American Express Meetings and Events has found.

In a recent survey of meetings experts that included planners, buyers and suppliers from around the world, 60 per cent said that they expected the number of business meetings to increase next year, according to CIT Magazine.

However, higher travel costs and budget-cutting within organisations will mean that firms will be focusing on the right balance of cost effectiveness – as well as “experience impact” – when considering potential meeting venues.

Those polled confirmed that business budgets are indeed tight, or shrinking; with 33 per cent saying that they are decreasing and 60 per cent saying they were flat.

“In many cases, meetings and event spend is an indicator of outward facing organisations connecting with their clients and prospects, and well run meetings and events can be leading drivers of new business and growth for organizations,” comments Issa Jouaneh, vice president at American Express Meetings and Events.

“Even in the face of economic uncertainty, meeting industry stakeholders appear to be cautiously optimistic as they report an increase in services and property demand from clients,” he added on Market Watch.

Other trends found include an attraction to more green event venues, fuller agendas at meetings – but with less participants – and meetings that take place closer to home.