Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world’s largest meeting and event industry association, published its spring 2021 Meetings Outlook, a future-focused quarterly report that identifies new trends and innovations.
The publication allows planners to budget and plan accordingly, and ensures a strong foundation for building sound strategies that keep businesses on paths to success. While this quarter saw the largest positive overall business projection in the history of Meetings Outlook, meeting and travel professionals are still contending with complicated prioritization (privacy versus safety) and ongoing furlough and layoff challenges.
Some key findings from the report include:
- 81% of respondents predict favourable business conditions for the year ahead—the third consecutive quarter showing notable growth in industry optimism.
- 12% of respondents expect their organizations/clients to mandate participants of upcoming in-person meetings and events be vaccinated against COVID-19 (a form of the so-called “vaccine passport”).
- 24% of planner respondents and 40% of supplier respondents were furloughed or subject to layoffs at some point during 2020.
“We’re keeping an eye on our core marketplace indicators—like overall business conditions and contract employment—areas that will predict future recovery,” said Jessies States, CMP, CMM, director, MPI Academy. “An unprecedented 81 per cent of meeting professionals predict positive business conditions over the coming 12 months, and while conditions couldn’t have gotten much worse than they were last fall, we’ve never seen a rate that high.”
Projections related to live in-person attendance are increasing, while the comparable projections for digital attendance continue to increase—but at a lesser rate—for the first time since the current crisis manifested last year. “A few more people are pushing their first in-person experience into 2022, but we still see more than three-quarters of meeting professionals predicting a face-to-face event this calendar year,” said States.