The IBTM global meetings industry research presented its first report on the Americas at AIBTM last week with the highlights concluding that whilst the majority of US business tends to stay in the US, albeit widespread throughout different states, over 40% organized events in Europe, and 22% in Asia, the remaining taking place in the regions of MENA, the Gulf, Africa and Australasia.
Some 327 respondents in the Americas organized over 6,660 events from conferences to exhibitions, incentive, business travel and product launches. The most popular destinations in Europe included Spain, Italy, Germany, UK whilst in the Americas preferred destinations included the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
80% of buyers in the Americas had budgets in excess of US0k for their events and over half of respondents indicated that the volume of events is predicted to grow over the next 12 months, budgets remain under pressure with the attitude that they need to do more for less.
The use of new technologies, the rapid growth of social media, apps, QR codes and hybrid meetings are all seen as the major forms of communications and marketing as budgets have to be stretched. The use of social media to communicate before, during and after a meeting was highlighted by over 82% of respondents.
The key issues that will have the most impact on increasing meetings and events business in the future included economic conditions, for budgets to improve, rates, prices and cost issues, introduction of new destinations (value for money), political and government issues.
“This first US research highlights how there is a need for destinations to work harder in order to achieve business from the US outbound. Whilst its clear buyers and planners are looking for the safety of closer to home, it shows that they are prepared to go to the more “traditional destinations” as well, and are looking to also try new places that are perceived as value for money, to help their budgets do more.” Said Craig Moyes, Portfolio Director IBTM Global Events Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The IBTM research project for the global portfolio is to obtain information on buying trends and the major issues affecting destination choice in the meetings industry from year to year. It looks at where business is coming from and where it is going to, in terms of which regions, countries and states. It also extends into cites for certain individual regions such as the Middle East and China.
“With new countries and regions rapidly becoming major players in the meetings market as inbound and outbound generators, the destinations being selected and those generating major traffic are changing dramatically. We are now monitoring the trends, helping IBTM exhibitors and visitors to understand where to focus their marketing activities and budgets, and helping destinations identify what they need to do to best meet market needs and maximise potential.
“This was the first US summary of trends from the research focusing on the Americas region and the subsequent annual research will be able to track trends in popularity of destinations, budgets allocated, volume of events per destination and indicators on the general health of the meetings industry.” Moyes added.