Site International Foundation releases annual forecast for motivational events industry

Optimism for incentive travel is at a four-year high

Since 2010 the Site International Foundation has conducted the Site Index Annual Survey to compile and compare data meaningful to the incentive travel and motivational events industry. The research examines both internal and external challenges to the sector and how these factors impact the stability and growth of the market. It addresses behaviours of both buyers and suppliers providing leading indicators for future trends. This fourth year of the study confirms that incentive travel continues to be on an upswing and is predicted to grow significantly through 2016.

“After several years of intense scrutiny, companies are realizing the important role incentive travel and motivational events have played on their past success and are implementing new programs to elevate future performance,” stated Kurt Paben, President, Site International Foundation. “This can be attributed to an overall improving global economy, but also reflects the current state of bookings for programs that will operate within the next three years.”

Key observations:

  • Optimism for incentive travel is at a four-year high – The majority (87 per cent) of survey respondents indicated that the use of incentive travel will increase or substantially increase in the next one to three years with nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents more optimistic about the short term (the next six months) than they were in 2012 (33 per cent).
  • Planners are under increasing pressure to deliver results – The study confirmed increasing pressure on planners to measure ROI and/or ROO. Seventy-nine per cent of respondents expect this requirement to grow in the next 12 months, and 82 per cent expect significant increase over the next one to three years.
  • Convergence of business meetings and incentive travel will increase – Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of survey respondents predict there will be an increase in the convergence of business meetings and motivational events over the next 12 months versus 61 per cent in 2012; 77 per cent say it will increase over the next one to three years.
  • Technology and social media are vital to motivational event marketing – The use of mobile technology has increased dramatically in the past year with respondents (80 per cent) saying it is important or very important, versus 69 per cent in 2012. LinkedIn is currently the most widely used social media platform at 65 per cent, with Facebook following at 58 per cent and Twitter at 47 per cent. However, when asked about their future plans respondents predict an increase in the use of Twitter and Facebook.

“As the motivational events industry continues to evolve, it is more important than ever that professionals gain insight on how the industry is performing and be aware of what trends are shaping the future,” shared Kevin Hinton, Chief Staff Officer, Site and the Site International Foundation, “Leveraging the Site Index, the Site International Foundation strives to measure what is relevant and important so companies can use this information to build sales and marketing plans that drive business results.”

This Site Index Report was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Creative Group, Inc. and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Data for the Site Index are derived from the collective experiences and perspectives of a global group of incentive travel and motivational event users and providers. For this survey, responses were received from 142 people. The survey was supervised by Scott A. Jeffrey, Ph.D., Monmouth University, and Marion Joppe, Ph.D., University of Guelph.

To obtain a full copy of the Executive Summary of the Site Index Annual Analysis and Forecast of the Motivational Events Industry, go to Site Index.

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