Amex Study Predicts Strong N.A. Meetings Growth For 2016

Open Jaw

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 programs.”

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 next year.

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.

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