The latest IBTM Meetings Industry Research -Europe focus, prepared by The Right Solution, was launched Wednesday 20th November during EIBTM in Barcelona. The results of research with over 700 buyers and suppliers across 26 countries all holding events in Europe reveal an average of 23 events were organised per respondent, which increases to 25 for the year ahead. 57% predict increased volume of events for the year ahead.
The research illustrates just how strong the flow of inbound and outbound business is for Europe, with the impact of economic problems in the Eurozone and elsewhere in recent years beginning to wane. For the first time in recent years, the survey predicts that the global economy will not impact conference business in the next 12 months.
Key factors influencing venue and destination choice included quality of service in the highest position for any research undertaken by The Right Solution recently alongside location, price/value for money and ease of access. Compliance with industry criteria was also rated as a high priority reinforcing just how much compliance is now influencing the market.
Also revealed is the high use of new technologies and forms of communication during events with 65% using social media to communicate before, during or after meetings and 42% of meeting planners now handing out smartphones or tablets to provide delegates with information during conferences. Supplier research supports these findings with 53% of them agreeing that new technologies are adding creative options for events. Social media also evidently provides an invaluable communication tool for suppliers with 85% of suppliers using Facebook, 72% using Twitter and 68% using Linked In to communicate company information.
Buyers top ten countries for events in Europe by volume and those forecast for the next 12 months include Spain, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands and Turkey. Beyond Europe, buyers are taking large amounts of events outside the continent. The percentage of buyers holding events outside Europe are: Asia (35%), Americas (43%), Africa (19%) and the Middle East (32%).
The report is available to download here: IBTM Meetings industry research Europe focus