Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world’s largest meeting and event industry association, has published its Summer Meetings Outlook a future-focused quarterly report that identifies new trends and innovations. The publication allows planners to budget and plan accordingly and ensures a strong foundation for building sound strategies that keep businesses on paths to success.
Meeting and event business projections remain strong with signs of growth at a sustainable pace rather than the jarring ups and downs that have been seen during the past 30 months. Key findings include:
81% of respondents predict favorable business conditions for the year ahead. This is down from the recent all-time highs but remains incredibly positive/strong.
Costs are up. The majority of respondents say costs are increasing in excess of 6% for food and beverage, transportation, hotel accommodations, audiovisual and staffing. In fact, 41% of respondents expect F&B costs to increase more than 10% over the next year.
Hiring challenges continue, grow. 69% of respondents are experiencing difficulty filling job vacancies at their organizations—the greatest percentage of respondents indicating such since this data point was added to the survey more than a year ago.
Service levels are down. Closely related to the hiring challenges and “great resignation,” meeting and event professionals claim to be experiencing worse customer service than prior to the pandemic. Planners cite restaurants (73%) and hotels (72%) as two segments in which they’re experiencing the most significant decline in service quality. Thinking about events they’ve worked or attended this year, suppliers also identified restaurants (73%) as exhibiting the greatest service quality decline, followed closely by catered F&B (71%).
“Industry professionals continue to express high levels of optimism about future business conditions and attendance despite the challenges they face, from ongoing supply chain disruption, cost increases and inflation to worries about the economy and war to short-term bookings and decreasing availability,” said Jessie States, Vice President of MPI Academy. “Staffing shortages continue to put stress on organizations while also impacting service delivery. For organizers, this means more contingency, risk mitigation and management planning and enhanced communication strategies, while suppliers work to manage short RFP turnarounds, staffing (particularly back-of-house), an increase in unseasoned clients and tight calendars. Costs are up for everyone, regardless of industry, sector or marketplace role, which is leading professionals of all kinds to think creatively, focus on ROI and be flexible.”
Meetings Outlook presents future industry trends and predictions from MPI members. Research is conducted in house using the Qualtrics survey platform. The research is conducted quarterly and provides current business conditions and future outlooks.
Meetings Outlook is developed in partnership with IMEX Group. The full report can be found here.