Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Winter Meetings Outlook, which reveals positive signs as well as complications for the year ahead. The report identifies new trends and innovations, allowing event planners to budget and plan accordingly.
According to the report, while a balancing market reveals signs of positivity, complications such as the shifting desires of humans emerging from various degrees of societal lockdown as well as a lack of qualified staff/applicants in many meeting and hospitality roles continues to challenge industry professionals.
Key findings include:
- The “great resignation” continues to impact the meeting and event industry, with 60 per cent of respondents indicating difficulty finding suitable staff—that’s more than double the percentage of respondents who said the same last summer.
- 82 per cent of respondents project favourable business conditions over the next year, back up to the level seen in the spring 2021 survey.
- More than 50 per cent of respondents currently or soon plan on requiring proof of vaccination for staff, contractors and in-person event participants.
- The percentage of respondents anticipating favourable live attendance over the next 12 months is at 75 per cent, almost matching the all-time high seen in the summer 2021 survey.
“Following an omicron-fueled dip in positive projections last quarter, our most recent Meetings Outlook demonstrates positive indicators in a number of areas including increasing optimism in projected in-person attendance and budget,” said Jessie States, vice president of MPI Academy. “Fewer meeting professionals are expecting increases in digital or virtual attendance – down 41 percent since this time last year.”
Unpredictability continues to impact the buyer-seller balance in the marketplace. The biggest challenge continues to be employment, with 37.5 per cent of organizations reporting that they are hiring full-time staff and 60 per cent saying they are having problems filling roles.
“The implications of this are steep for an industry anticipating recovery—and an MPI focus this year will be helping organizations create and cultivate workplace cultures that attract and retain critical staff,” said States.