Barcelona. The full results of the annual EIBTM Global Industry Trends and Market Share Report were released on Wednesday 30th November at EIBTMin Barcelona. The report compiled by Rob Davidson, EIBTM Industry Analyst and Senior Lecturer in Events Management at The University of Greenwich in London identifies key trends for the meetings and incentives market, which delivered insight into the global economic situation we find ourselves in, and how the meetings and events industry are responding.
Rob Davidson comments on the outlook for 2012: “Without doubt, the economy and how we deal with uncertainty in world markets is the biggest issue facing our industry at this time. Only economic growth can reverse the weakening in the global recovery, and as an industry it is imperative that we now demonstrate that we can be part of the solution, rather than a cost to businesses. Over the past few years, we have learned to operate effectively within volatile markets by using innovative solutions and by cooperating with our stakeholders and each other in new and imaginative ways, in order to meet the challenges head-on. There can be no doubt that this spirit of cooperation and collaboration has already created stronger intra-industry relationships that will last for years to come”.
Rob Davidson disclosed: “In terms of macro-economics, the prediction (from International Monetary Fund) is that global growth will moderate to about 4 percent through 2012, down from over 5 percent in 2010. But real Gross Domestic Product in the advanced economies is projected to expand at a relatively weak pace of only 2 percent in 2012. However, even this relatively modest prediction assumes that European policymakers contain the crisis in the euro area and that volatility in global financial markets does not escalate”.
“However, within the meetings and events industry, there is a greater degree of optimism than in the economy as a whole. Most analysts predict that corporate meetings demand will continue to grow worldwide, approaching peak 2008 levels by year-end 2012 and that rates for meetings venues will rise faster in 2012 than in 2011”.
In his continued analysis Rob explained that one key source has suggested that the price differential between second- and third-tier cities compared with top-tier destinations (generally, capital cities) is also expected to widen, and if this transpires, that will mean more opportunities for second- and third-tier cities in Europe and elsewhere.
The outlook for the association market is generally agreed to be buoyant too, as new specialist professions proliferate and new associations continue to be created. One key survey cited in the Industry Trends and Market Share Report notes that associations' revenue from the exhibitions that accompany their conference has remained stable and that levels of sponsorship are expected to increase in the year ahead.
The BRICs continue to be the engine of the global recovery. Most are currently enjoying both strong domestic demand and a healthy outflow of exports, even if their growth rates have moderated in 2011 – a trend widely foreseen, as many emerging market economies, such as China, have been tightening monetary policy in response to rising inflation, in the effort to engineer a ‘soft landing’ for themselves.
The other BRIC to watch closely in the years ahead is Brazil. That populous nation is set to overtake the UK to become the world’s sixth biggest economy this year, according to projections from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The EIU’s chief economist on Brazil attributed that country’s surge up the table to a growing consumer class and a booming trade relationship with China, a country in great need of commodities such as soya and iron ore. Rob Davidson predicts that there will be rapid growth in the volume of meetings held between Chinese companies and the companies in regions such as Africa and Brazil that are supplying it with the commodities it needs.
Meeting professionals have begun to recognise that it has become much easier to extend the impact of an event beyond the four walls of the meeting room and that hybrid events can multiply an event’s impact and can even attract new attendees for future events. In the words of the 2011
Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions Event Director EIBTM comments "Understanding what's happening in the market and providing economic context behind that is essential for the industry's growth and advancement. This annual report is vital reading for all!"