Economists’ outlook for this year canbe summed up intwo words: cautious optimism. The recovery should continue, they say, but it is slow going. The results of the 21st Annual Meetings Market Survey reveal that meeting professionals are in lockstep with that forecast.
Economists expect about
a 2-percent growth in the economy this year. Hospitality industry veterans seem less guarded in their optimism; according to several surveys, most believe that the industry is at the start of a strong multi-year recovery. They predict that demand that will begin to outstrip supply and an increase in RevPar (revenue per available room) of 4 to 6 per- cent in 2012. The meeting professionalswho responded to
this year’s Annual Meetings Market Survey like- wise are anticipating a slightly better year than last.Butwhile some said theywere seeing actual signs of an uptick,most of the survey respondents seemed less certain. Said one: “Nothing indicates that things will improve or get worse. Hard to judge what 2012 will bring.” Here are some top-line results of what 2011 brought: Attendance—More than one-third of respondents said
International attendees—The vast majority — 77 per-
Convene’s Meetings Market Survey,
cent—of meeting professionals said they had the same num- ber of international attendees at their largest 2011 event compared to 2010. Fourteen percent reported a higher num- ber of attendees from outside of the United States. Exhibitors — More than one-half of
respondents reported that they had the same number of exhibitors at their largest show in 2011 compared to 2010; 26 percent said they attracted more exhibitors. Room pickup—More than one-half who
answered this year’s survey reported that their organization picked up at least 90 percent of the room block. Cutting backonmeetings—Eighty-seven percent of respondents did not cut back on the number of days of any multi-day meeting in 2011,
compared to 2010. Less than one in five respondents canceled one or more meetings in 2011. Virtual events—More than one-quarter of meeting profes- sionals report that their use of virtual events rose in the past year.
that they had more attendees at their largest 2011 meeting than their largest 2010 event; 21 percent reported a decrease; and 41 percent said there was no change.
Read what else planners have to say about their meetings in 2011 and 2012 on the following pages.