The IBTM Global Meetings Industry research was first launched twelve months ago to explore the trends and characteristics of the international meetings market. At that time the Global Financial crisis had affected the market for 4 years and it was hoped that better times lay ahead. One year on, the Eurozone crisis is still very much in the headlines and the US economy is still wobbly. However the results of this latest research show increased volume and reasonable values of business for many European countries. This is being achieved even though the majority of business is being generated within Europe.
Despite many people saying they haven’t experienced increased budgets over the last year the average change in budgets was +3.5%. There is no doubt that having to ‘do more with less’, remains the common picture as increases in volume of events are not matched by increases in budgets although average budget increase for next year is 5.1%.
26% are seeing their marketing and promotional budgets decrease next year, despite, or perhaps because of, using an increasing number of new technologies for marketing.
The top countries for events by volume in the last twelve months were Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy, with more surprising results for those in 6th to 10th position: Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. For the first time Poland seems to be rewarded for the significant investments made in the marketing, infrastructure and product development with 6th position in the top ten countries by volume and 4th position in the top ten by value of business placed.
The average spend per destination for all Europe was US$ 108,040 (Euros 83,752) with Monaco in highest value position at US$207,823 (Euros 161,084). The average number of attendees is 262 with many more events for less than 300 delegates than for higher numbers. Attendees to events in Europe are most often coming from countries within Europe. However there are significant numbers coming from North and South America and Asia emphasising the need for frequent air routes for destination success.
It is unsurprising that respondents stated the issue most likely to affect their business in the next twelve months was the economy (local, regional and global) and the need for improvement of the economic environment. This was followed through into improvement of political crises for some countries and closely followed by budget and cost issues. The need to spend wisely has led to use of new destinations that are perceived to offer better value for money such as Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia and Albania. 63% of buyers predict increased use of new destinations next year so it will be interesting to see if this becomes reality by end of 2013. Clearly the market is increasingly competitive for destinations yet there is optimism from the buyers for the market in the year ahead.
Since the IBTM Global meetings industry research project was launched twelve months ago nearly 3,000 people have taken part, contributing to this valuable research into the market conditions for the meetings industry and destination trends worldwide. In total 1,037 buyer responses were received for this latest survey.
You can see Sally present the research at EIBTM by registerign for the virtual session
or view the presentation