Research Lab on the International Meeting Industry – LAMCI

The International Meetings Industry

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Meetings industry is a very important business, attracting free-spending visitors booking downtown hotel rooms, eating at restaurants, and thronging theaters and night spots.

So in the last decade, state and local governments have made massive commitments to tourism and conventions as part of their central economic development strategies.

Economic crisis has caused a decline in most every measure of meeting industry strength, including attendance, budgets, number of meetings and length of meetings.
There is cautious optimism about prospects for the coming years, with the highest percentage of meeting suppliers, meeting management professionals, corporate planners and association planners predicting business growth in 2010 (MPI, FutureWatch 2010).

However, meeting business will be characterized by the following traits:

  • an emphasis on competitive pricing;
  • a larger share of meetings located closer to home, as proximity and practicality take precedence over a destination's unique features or available airlift;
  • a sharp focus on the value of each meeting, reinforcing an interest in meetings measurement and ROI;
  • a more pragmatic, realistic understanding of planner-supplier relationships;
  • widespread emphasis on corporate social responsibility;
  • emerging opportunities for technology or technology service providers that can bridge the gaps planners identity between the importance of key technologies and their availability or affordability;
  • a continuing shift toward virtual and web-based technologies as an important part of the meetings mix;
  • a new concern about public perception of meetings and events.

The international meetings market can be segmented in many different ways.

However, the main criterion used to segment the market is by the initiator of the meeting. The initiator determines what kind of meeting is organised and the kind of supplier services needed. When segmenting the international meetings market by initiator, two primary markets can be defined: the corporate market and the non-corporate market. The latter consists of international governmental organisations and international nongovernmental organisations or associations.

The exhisting researches assemble information mainly on international association meetings, that meet the following criteria:

  • be attended by at least 50 participants;
  • be organised on a regular basis (one-time events are not included);
  • move between at least 3 different countries (ICCA) or have a fixed city or country but aren't purely national meetings (UIA).

Data on corporate meeting are incomplete.

All data on meetings are presented per continent, per country, per city, per event but not per convention/congress centre.