The second edition of the IBTM Global Meetings Industry Research for the Americas was launched at this year’s AIBTM, on Education Day, which took place in Chicago’s McCormick Place June 11.
Key findings from the research highlighted that the average number of events organized by buyer/planner respondents increased to 25, compared to 20 last year. In addition to this, 44 percent of American buyers confirmed that they expect their volume of events to increase in the next 12 months, and more than 50 percent predict an increase in their attendance.
The research report, which was conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions IBTM Event Portfolio and PCMA, in association with The Right Solution, also identified that meeting budgets for the next 12 months were expected to increase on average by 5.2 percent compared to a 3.7 percent increase over the past 12 months, which is a positive indicator for the industry going forward.
A further positive indicator identified in the research was identified in the broad range of events types organized by buyers in the Americas. The results also identified a 2 percent increase in incentive travel events (rising to 40 percent, compared to 44 percent in 2012) and a 6 percent increase in exhibition events (rising to 50 percent, compared to 44 percent last year).
The research also confirmed that although the Americas would remain the key destination for U.S. meeting planners over the next 12 months, 50 percent of buyer respondents who attended AIBTM confirmed a direct interest in placing business in Europe, and 40 percent confirmed an interest in Asia. U.K., France and Germany were also identified as attracting significant numbers of events last year.
Sixty-three percent of respondents also predicted the use of new destinations for their events in the next 12 months with Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda receiving the highest satisfaction ratings in terms of value delivered for money. Florida, California and New York were also identified as top states for volume of events.
The expected rise in the use of technology is featured in the research with 76 percent of planners predicting an increase in the use of new technology to shape event content and 73 percent confirming that they use social media to communicate with attendees before and during events. Forty-seven percent of respondents also confirmed that they use smartphone apps to provide event delegates with information.