International meeting planners are bullish about business prospects for the rest of this year.
Meetings Professional International (MPI) surveyed around 375 North American planners for its Meetings Outlook: 2015 Summer edition report.
About 72% of respondents told the association they expect overall business conditions to improve in the near future, up from 65% one year ago.
The report states that 17 percent of respondents are doing nothing to plan for the different communication styles of the generations of attendees, while 40 percent are comprehensively tailoring their ideas for every event with this in mind
More jobs are opening up across the industry, while agencies are increasingly hiring professionals in contract or part-time roles, with 44% of MPI’s respondents expecting the number of contract positions to rise.
Attendance at both live and virtual meetings and events is expected to rise, with live attendance numbers growing at a faster pace. About 62% of respondents predicted increased numbers at live events (up from 53% in 2014), while 57% predicted an increase in virtual events (down from 68% in 2014).
Meeting professionals are doing more, but, says the report, many must be stretch budgets that haven’t yet returned to levels that would offset rising costs for food and beveridge and guest rooms. The latest survey found that 33% of respondents expect their budget to remain good for the next year, while 39% expect only a small increase.
Bill Voegeli (MPI Georgia Chapter) is president of Association Insights, the Atlanta-area research firm that conducted the survey.
He said: “They are not being asked to do more with less. They’re being asked to do much more with a little more.”