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More than 300 meeting executives attended the most recent IMEX in Frankfurt.

Results from a survey jointly carried out by ICCA and IMEX amongst the international association of hosted buyers who attended the most recent IMEX in Frankfurt, paint a very positive picture for this most resilient sector of the meetings industry.

More than 100 executives, one-third of Association Day attendees, responded to the survey; three-quarters of whom organized, or were about to hold meetings for more than 500 delegates in 2010, and over 15 percent of whom organized events of over 5,000 delegates.

An impressive 31 percent reported higher actual or planned attendance for their 2010 events than in previous years, and 46 percent indicated no change with only 14 percent reporting slight reductions, and fewer than one in ten reporting a significant fall in numbers.

Nevertheless, the financial pressures are clearly continuing; only 20 percent reported higher income from sponsors and exhibitions, 40 percent showed no change, but the remaining 40 percent suffered falls in financial support from this side of their budgets.

When asked about their projections for 2011, these executives painted an even more positive picture; almost one-third of associations will be running more meetings in 2011 than in 2010, with only eight percent planning to organize fewer, and a massive 53 percent are projecting higher attendances than in 2010, compared to a tiny six percent who expect their delegate numbers to fall. This is the most positive forward forecast that these regular surveys have ever produced.

“These results provide further powerful evidence that the international association meetings sector is holding firm through these economically rocky times,” said Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO. “Like everyone, they’re faced with more conservative budgeting by their corporate sponsors, but their key constituents, the association members who attend their major meetings, are proving once again they are loyal and willing to invest their time and money. Combined with ICCA’s own statistical research showing the continued creation and growth of new association meetings, these results should reassure every destination and company targeting this sector that they have made the right strategic decision.”

“International associations will continue to be a key hosted buyer sector for IMEX and for our new IMEX America show in 2011,” said Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group. “We understand just how strategically important their meetings are to our exhibitors, especially during recessionary or turbulent times, and we are committed to invest in their customized programs at both shows to make sure their numbers continue to grow strongly. IMEX Association Day 2010 attracted the largest ever gathering of international association executives to take place in Europe, and we intend to keep breaking this record, year after year.”



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