The international association sector stands
out as “a beacon of hope”, amid general meetings market gloom, according to a new
survey of 120 association executives.
The ICCA/IMEX research was carried out
among this year’s IMEX Association Day attendees at the Frankfurt
meetings show and produced a 40 per cent response rate.
The executives reporting claimed none of
their association events had been cancelled for 2009 and a clear majority
anticipated either increased or static delegate attendances at their events.
There was a slightly less optimistic view
reported on sponsorship and exhibition revenue.
Far more executives said they planned to
select better value destinations, to renegotiate existing contracts with venues
and hotels and to cut operational budgets.
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk says the results back
up ICCA’s view that the international association meetings are “the most
resilient and recession-proof sector” in the meetings industry. “They’re
certainly not immune from the downturn, with 70 per cent indicating that they
had suffered some negative impact, but the detailed positive results
demonstrate the sense of including international associations in any long-term
strategic business mix,” he says.
IMEX marketing director Carina Bauer adds:
“International associations regard their meetings as an absolutely critical
part of their organisations’ strategies, and it’s clear they’re going to
continue to invest strongly in meetings, which is good news for all of us.”