Amex Study Predicts Strong N.A. Meetings Growth For 2016
Positive economic trends combined
with corporate global expansion will drive continued growth for the meetings
industry in 2016, according to the newly released American Express Meetings
& Events 2016 Global Meetings Forecast.
Across all regions, the number of
training and internal meetings is expected to experience high levels of growth
as companies continue to invest in bringing employees together for meetings.
The forecast says that following a
year of added capacity, an increased focus on compliance-related concerns and a
growing need to manage risk across all meeting types, meeting owners are
predicted to modestly expand their budgets next year, with overall meeting
spend up about 1.9%.
In turn, hotels are expected to
increase capacity in key cities, but lead times remain tight, so meeting owners
who are able to plan farther ahead have the best chance of securing their 1st
choice property and dates. They can also expect to pay more, with North
American group hotel rates expected to rise 4.2%.
The 2016 Forecast also provides a
look at 3 key areas of interest among meetings professionals: compliance,
incentives and using mobile and social media for events, all of which are
expected to continue to shape the industry in 2016.
“The resurgence of meetings and
events over the past few years has allowed meetings professionals to
demonstrate the strong value that face-to-face meetings continue to offer
globally,” said Issa Jouaneh, Senior Vice President & General Manager,
American Express Meetings & Events. “Our customers recognize this value of
interaction and seek opportunities to engage, reward and build meaningful
experiences for meetings professionals through their managed programs. At the
same time, we have seen our customers also place a greater focus on compliance
as they design their programs to meet the evolving needs of meeting owners
while also ensuring accountability and process discipline throughout their
In North America, 2016 will see
continued increases in all meeting types across the region, further fueling the
increased activity seen in 2015. Training and internal meetings are expected to
continue to experience strong growth and rise more than any other meeting type
As the number of meetings is
predicted to increase, attendee levels in North America are also expected to
trend upwards. Although respondents are optimistic about growth, the length of
meetings is predicted to remain largely unchanged in 2016. And while overall
program spend is expected to rise by the highest amount in 3 years, budgets
remain tightly controlled.