AIBTM 2012. The IBTM global meetings industry research presented its first report on the Americas at AIBTM from 19 – 21 June 2012 in Baltimore 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. 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.
“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.
The next research will be presented at CIBTM in Beijing, September 2012: www.cibtm.com