According to a survey of planners the majority of the respondents—67.2 percent—expect to plan more meetings in 2006 and beyond. Most of those respondents anticipate planning one - 10 more meetings (79.3 percent).
The survey was of pre-registrants attending the sixth annual Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Affordable Meetings Mid-America show March 29 - 30, 2006 at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
On a positive and potentially lucrative note for venues and suppliers in the meetings industry, more than half of the respondents (60.6 percent) indicated that their meeting budgets have increased from last year.
Additionally, 87.9 percent said they are looking for new resources and from this number, 64.2 percent are seeking venues for their meetings and events.
In response to how planners’ roles have changed over the past year, many cited that they have more meetings to plan, increased responsibility, need to do more in less time, are faced with higher expectations from attendees (particularly in regards to technology), must deal with the challenges of budget constraints, and have more bottom line accountability.
The survey also revealed that HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings® was the top show at which they conducted business in the past (38.3 percent of respondents).
“The survey results reflect the significant relevance and value of the Affordable Meetings series and serve as an excellent motivator for us to continue creating a cost-effective, educational and business-generating forum for those in the meetings industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.
The survey was sent to 972 planners registered for HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings Mid-America with a response rate of 51 percent (478 responses).