Meeting Professionals International released the February 2013Business Barometer report which revealed that significant shifts are afoot in the meeting and event industry. Meeting professionals are emerging from a long-term crisis of economic uncertainty and budget cuts (excepting those in some European nations) to find new groups of stakeholders with new expectations, new tools at their disposal and new opportunities to address the strengthening meeting and event market. Technology, budgets, lead times, risk management, employment levels and fluctuating prices continue to be significant factors, but these challenges have new solutions.
In order to make the most of the economic recovery, seasoned meeting professionals are adopting superior quality standards. These meeting professionals seek the advice of learned consultants and savvy new employees to better understand all the tools available. Meeting professionals had to deal with declining budgets, economic uncertainty and changing travel policies for so long that these challenges actually strengthened the industry. New business opportunities are being met with new priorities and new solutions.
Past Business Barometers recorded the struggle of meeting professionals who have had to change their business models to be proactive and to coordinate and cooperate with various stakeholders. Meeting professionals now report that their efforts to improve the overall quality of planning and execution are paying off.
The Business Barometer report monitors the meetings industry’s most immediate needs in relation to economic concerns and opportunities. Every two months, research firm Association Insights surveys its Business Research Panel, a select group of senior level meeting professionals from MPI’s 21,000 international members, and asks a short series of quantitative questions related to the economy and a qualitative question regarding the individual’s professional outlook. The survey provides a bi-monthly tracking of current business conditions and outlooks compared with actual business conditions and outlooks a year ago.
The Business Barometer allows MPI to better gauge immediate and future business and economic conditions. MPI provides the report so members can have the information they need to succeed, including current and predicted attendance trends, overall employment and lead times. Members use the insights and findings to forecast annual budgets, inform hiring practices and take their business to an even greater level of success.