Global DMC Partners Survey Reveals Industry Challenges and Trends in Meetings & Events

Friday, 23.02.2024
The Q4 2023 survey by Global DMC Partners sheds light on the current state of the meetings and events industry, addressing issues such as budget constraints, shorter lead times, and the industry's approach to sustainability and AI tools integration.

Industry Survey Unveils Key Challenges and Trends in Meetings & Events Sector. Photo: Pexels

Global DMC Partners (GDP) has released the results of its Q4 2023 Meetings & Events Pulse Survey. The survey unequivocally demonstrates the ongoing challenges faced by the industry, including budget constraints, shorter lead times, and the growing importance of sustainability and integrating AI tools.

Between December 2023 and January 2024, the survey received 246 responses exploring various aspects of the meetings and events sector, including budgets, cost management, lead times, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) integration, sustainability practices, and the industry’s adoption of AI tools. The respondents, mainly professionals based in the US and Canada, with a significant representation from Europe, provide a comprehensive and reliable insight into the current state of the industry.

To manage increasing costs, planners are confidently implementing various strategies. These include reducing F&B expenses by providing meal vouchers, adding more leisure time, and decreasing the number of events. It is worth noting that a significant trend after the pandemic is the prevalence of shorter lead times, with more than half of the respondents reporting shorter planning periods.

International respondents prioritize DEI integration more than their counterparts in the US and Canada, with 50% of them incorporating DEI elements into at least half of their programs. Furthermore, all respondents share the primary sustainability goal of reducing plastic usage and waste.

Despite persistent cost challenges, a significant percentage of planners anticipate budget stagnation for meetings and incentives in 2024, with around 30% expecting an increase. Around 50% of the planners expect budgets to remain unchanged. To address financial constraints, they are implementing cost-saving strategies, such as selecting destinations based on price.

It is worth noting that even when facing higher costs, planners prioritize destination pricing and experience when sourcing locations. Post-pandemic, lead times have generally shortened, although some planners have reported longer lead times due to difficulties in finding suitable venues.

There is a discrepancy in DEI practices between regions, with international organizations demonstrating more proactive integration efforts compared to their U.S. and Canadian counterparts. By adopting sustainable practices and leveraging AI tools, planners can achieve success and stand out in their respective regions. Chatbots are a proven solution that can be widely embraced to enhance the overall experience.

The survey highlights the complex landscape of the meetings and events industry. Planners must balance financial constraints, sustainability imperatives, and evolving technological landscapes while striving to deliver impactful experiences. However, these challenges can be overcome with the right expertise and approach.

For the full results of GDP’s Meetings & Events Pulse Survey, please visit