The quarterly study, produced by MPI, is taking a look again at the trends in the industry. The dedicated panel has shared their views on several topics, ranging from financial trends to employment.
As the budgets keep on showing positive signs, there's again room for more wow-factor and also for more business intelligence. In the wake of steady increase in the meeting budgets, organizers are focusing more and more also on the "wants" of the attendee. And the attendees want that wow-factor that really get the buzz going on. As the industry is growing again, meeting professionals are indeed focusing again in big-name speakers and entertainment. These have not been abandoned before either, but now there are more possibilities to incorporate them back into the program. Not forgetting the key element, education, of course.
Another trend is the business intelligence. Even though budgets are on the rise, the costs are following suit and fast. This causes meeting planners to get creative and really think about all their choices. You might not have to more with less anymore, but to "do much more with a little more", like Bill Voegeli from MPI Georgia Chapter notes.
Another change in the industry since a year ago is the clear trend of jobs coming back. A great number of panelists see that there's a clear increase in all aspects, whether its full-time, part-time or contract based. The natural evolution would seem to be going from contract based employment to part-time and full-time. Though the percantage of panelists seeing this growth varies from 30% to 44%, majority still see the job market as flat.
A side effect of the positive job markets is that experienced planners notice a need to mentor their junior colleagues who don't necessarily have the experience yet on tough negotiations. Panelists have noticed that "upselling" is more likely to happen now that the budgets are improving. This creates unfamiliar challenges for newer planners who have not perhaps faced such approach before. Strong network of connections is a big plus and those combined with intelligent decision making are bound to create buzzworthy and effective events.
One trend, above others, bodes well for the industry. A clear majority of panelists predict an increase in both live and virtual attendance for events. The percentage for live attencance is as high as 62%. That's an improvement from the same time last year when 53% were predicting an increase in the live attendance.
Download the full Meetings Outlook - Summer Edition at MPIWeb.org.
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The MPI in Europe Team