Most meetings and events professional respondents project 2024 meetings spending will increase alongside in-person demand, according to a global survey from American Express Global Business Travel Meetings & Events released Tuesday.
Amex GBT M&E from June to mid-July surveyed more than 500 corporate and association, meetings and events professionals, and includes responses from 26 countries as part of its annual meetings and events forecast.
According to the report, 67 percent of respondents predict 2024 meetings spend to increase year over year 2024, and 13 percent projected that increase would be more than 10 percent.
Globally, most respondents—53 percent—identified costs as their top meetings challenge in 2024, and 44 percent said budget cuts. About 43 percent said location availability, and 29 percent said hotel staffing. At the bottom of the list of challenges in 2024 was tracking carbon emissions, to which 23 percent of respondents said they expected it would be a challenge.
According to the report, 59 percent of respondents agreed most events in 2024 will be in-person, while 21 percent said virtual, and 20 percent said hybrid. About 42 percent of respondents expect to hold more internal meetings next year, and 42 percent expect client and customer meetings to increase. Just behind, 38 percent said incentive events would increase in 2024.
According to the survey, 45 percent of respondents expect lead times to stay the same next year, while 27 percent expect lead times to shorten. About 23 percent said they would get longer.
Additionally, 80 percent of respondents said they have well-defined strategic meetings management programs.
While 23 percent of respondents listed carbon reduction as a challenge in 2024, this comparatively lower level of concern may be attributed to the fact that most respondents already have sustainability measures and practices in place, according to the report.
According to the survey, 39 percent of respondents said their companies already have implemented emissions-reduction practices, and 38 percent said they plan to implement in the future.
More than two-thirds of respondents globally said that sustainability is "very" or "extremely" important when planning meetings and events. To that end, 40 percent of respondents said their companies have already implemented ground transportation emission-reduction practices, and 45 percent said their companies prioritize sustainably certified suppliers. About 44 percent of respondents said their company has set a corporate net-zero goal.
But respondents are not without sustainability-centric challenges within their meetings.
More specifically, 40 percent of respondents listed minimizing waste as the biggest challenge to implementing sustainable practices in meetings programming, while 39 percent said it was identifying suppliers with sustainable certification or relevant sustainable practices.
Following close behind, 35 percent said budget was a challenge regarding meetings sustainability.
Copyright 2023 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.businesstravelnews.com. By Angelique Platas.