Hosted buyers paint positive picture for 2011 meetings

A survey of IMEX 2010 hosted buyers
carried out jointly by ICCA and IMEX shows expected growth for what the authors
call “the most resilient sector of the meetings
industry”.

More than 100 association day
attendees to the 2010 IMEX meetings executives exhibition in Frankfurt responded to the survey, conducted with the help
of international meeting association ICCA. Fifteen per cent of this number
organise events of more than 5,000 delegates.

Almost a third reported higher
actual or planned attendance for their 2010 events than in previous years, while
46 per cent indicated no change, with just 14 per cent reporting slight
reductions, and fewer than one in ten reporting a significant fall in numbers.

However, financial pressures are
clearly continuing. Forty percent suffered falls in financial support from this
side of their budgets, while the same number of respondents showed no change. A
fifth reported higher income from sponsors and
exhibitions.

When asked about their projections
for 2011, the respondents painted a more positive picture. Almost a third of
associations will be running more meetings in 2011 than in 2010, with only eight
per cent planning to organise fewer. Fifty-three per cent are projecting higher
attendances than in 2010, compared to a just six per cent who expect their
delegate numbers to fall.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk describes the
results as 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,” he says. “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
that they are loyal and willing to invest their time and money.”

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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