Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions – 2016 Trends

by Last updated Mar 9, 2017

Well, here we are, a little more than halfway through 2016 and like clockwork, information on trends in the meetings and events industry are starting to emerge. For the past few years, this was a time to dread but happily, things are looking pretty rosy. Seriously, like looking good, like let’s go out to dinner and have the extra glass of wine awesome!

Before we get to the trends infographic by Michelle Mangan (The Europe Hotel and Resort), I wanted to tell you about some of the cool stuff we are seeing here at Camp Plannerwire… and what we are seeing is positive.

  • For 2016, most of our clients are seeing a noticeable uptick in attendance and sponsorship and by most, I mean all but one.
  • Sponsorship for one client is up so much we are moving into a larger hall to accommodate more exhibitors and have run out of perks to give new Platinum Level sponsors.
  • Clients are finally ready to add more to existing events to create a better attendee experience. From Dahlia’s amazing tech bars to booths offering professional head-shots, attendees seem to be getting great value beyond the education and networking that they normally receive which in turn drives greater attendance and more sponsorship dollars.
  • We are receiving more requests for proposals than we have seen in a number of years (yep, I love that) which means that many associations are no longer happy with the status quo and are looking to up their game and try something different.

And we are not alone. All over the globe our colleagues and friends are saying pretty much the same thing. People are meeting, eventing, and conferencing in huge numbers.

The Downside to the Upside

You knew I had to throw in a but… because there is always a but and it is kinda a champagne problem. Basically, the good times are happening for everyone. , so there is a downside for conference and meeting stakeholders. For example, because more people are meeting and their registrations are going strong, hotel occupancy is way up. We Just tried to get some space at a Chicago Hotel for February of 2019 and they had nothing for us… oops. Just think, two years ago, they would have paid our client to take the rooms!

This is just something to keep in mind, especially in the first tier cities. Although revenue from attendees and sponsors is way up,  you will also be spending more to house, feed, transport, and entertain them. It’s OK though… We love it when everyone is kicking butt!

Yep. We are looking good. People are meeting, people are traveling, associations are feeling good, vendors are happy, and pretty soon they will be handing out ice cream and lollipops so let’s talk about this infographic because it is a good read. Here are some of the big takeaways:

  • Meeting spend is up! We love to hear that because… Duh.
  • Hotels and Airlines are seeing record performance and that is a double edge sword.
  • Incentive Planners are spending more per person than 2015, to that we say thank heavens.
  • The exhibitions and tradeshows are up 2.1% which makes me all giddy!

All of these are welcome signs to all of us who love meetings and events. I will let you scroll through for updates on other trends