The fact that meeting activity has declined should come as no surprise to most planners. Now, the MPI Foundation has released some statistics that quantify exactly how much of a drop has occurred.
According to a February survey of 1,000 senior level meeting professionals, 33 percent of respondents said there has been greater than a 10 percent decrease in meeting attendance over this time last year. About 43 percent said there has been a one to 10 percent decrease, while 16 percent have seen no change. Only nine percent saw increases in attendance to meeting events that professionals have planned, produced, hosted or served.
When it comes to spending, the overwhelming majority (77 percent) have seen a decrease in spending, while 16 percent saw no change. No professionals reported an increase in spending greater than 10 percent.
What's causing these declines? Tighter budgets due to a poor economy are certainly a factor, though it's very possible that public sentiment has an effect, too. Plus, the report cites that many organizations may have pulled back stronger than normal in order to wait and see how economic recovery programs go.