After a few down years, it would appear that the market for corporate meetings and events is once again on the upswing. According to a recent white paper published by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), while demand for corporate meetings and events is indeed rising fast, the budgets being provided for them are growing at a slower rate. In other words, corporate meeting and event planners are being asked “to do much more with just a little more.”
Based on research by MPI, planners are attempting to accomplish this in two ways. First, there is a renewed focus on attendee “wants", such as big-name speakers, enhanced entertainment, and venues that are in attendee-friendly locations. Second, more and more corporate meetings and events (about 36%) are including an element of “community volunteerism,” in which attendees are asked to complete various tasks and team-building exercises that have an outcome that is in some way charitable. Especially in the wake of the devastating financial crisis, many companies are now more aware than ever of their public perception and want to be seen not as self-serving and exploitative but rather as organizations intent on supporting their communities and the communities in which they host their meetings and events.
Finally, MPI suggests that succeeding in this burgeoning marketplace often hinges on managing and maintaining industry relationships. Whether it be with hotels or other vendors, employees and contractors, or colleagues, partners, and peers, nurturing and developing industry contacts has become critical when it comes to getting things done in the world of meetings and events. As budgets and program needs continue to evolve, planners must continue to be flexible yet efficient if they hope to remain competitive.