by Vincent Alonzo | December 01, 2017
Recently, Successful Meetings sent a survey out to our readership asking them to tell us what the top meeting trends would be for 2018. Of the respondents, 43% percent were corporate planners, 30 percent were association planners, and 27 percent were independent or third party planners. Of that pool, 55 percent reported that managing safety and security risks will be key in 2018. Here's what else they had to say.


The top issues that that will be important to to planning effective meetings in 2018  

Keeping up with the evolution of meetings technology: 5%
Providing quality meetings on limited budgets: 59%
Managing safety and security risks: 55%
Creating compelling meeting content: 54%
Proving ROI for meetings: 52%
Negotiating with suppliers: 42%
Issues affecting site selection of destinations: 29%  
Planning for extreme weather incidents: 28%
Issues affecting site selection of properties: 26%  
Changes in the airline industry: 18%  
Promoting healthy lifestyles at meetings: 18%  
Incorporating sustainable practices into meetings: 12%  
 
Significant Demographic Differences -- By Planner Category
(Corporate / Third party / Association)

 
Changes in the airline industry: 18% / 31% / 8%
Creating compelling meeting conten: 52% / 46% / 68%
Planning for extreme weather incidents: 37% / 18% / 23%
Proving ROI for meetings: 54% / 46% / 71%  


Technology challenges facing meetings in 2018  
 
Choosing technology that will be most useful at meetings: 62%
Effectively integrating technology into meetings: 53%
Getting enough WiFi bandwidth to meet attendee needs: 48%
Getting attendees to use the social media on-site: 41%
Interpret ROI data from apps and other meetings technology tools: 38%
Getting enough WiFi bandwidth to deliver content at meetings: 36%
Developing social media strategies for promoting meetings: 30%
Developing virtual meeting offerings for attendees: 23%  

Significant Demographic Differences -- By Planner Category
(Corporate / Third party / Association)


Developing social media strategies for promoting meetings: 23% / 14% / 47%    
 

Hospitality industry challenges facing meetings in 2018  

 
Negotiating quality F&B that stays within budget: 62%
Negotiating room block rates: 54%  
Negotiating meeting room rates: 45%
Lead time as it pertains to room block availability: 45%
Working with A/V to create compelling meeting environments: 40%
Lead time as it pertains to meeting room availability: 35%
Consolidation in the hospitality industry: 25%  
Providing healthy F&B and activity options for attendees: 15%  
Room block disrupters such as Airbnb: 14%  
Reducing your event's carbon footprint on-site: 9%  

Significant Demographic Differences -- By Planner Category
(Corporate / Third party / Association)


Consolidation in the hospitality industry: 20% / 57% / 8%
 

Airline industry challenges facing the meetings industry in 2018

Negotiating affordable airfares for attendees: 56%  
Finding adequate airlift to meetings destinations: 49%  
Consolidation in the airline industry: 25%
Infrastructure problems at domestic airports: 24%  
Quality of the check-in experience for the attendees: 23%  
Quality of the inflight experience for the attendees: 20%  
Infrastructure problems at international airports: 12%  

Significant Demographic Differences -- By Planner Category
(Corporate / Third party / Association)


Negotiating affordable airfares for attendees: 59% / 69% / 39%
Quality of the check-in experience for the attendees: 20% / 37% / 8%
Quality of the inflight experience for the attendees: 32% / 17% / 3%  


Will 2018 be a buyer's or a seller's market?


Seller's market: 2%  
In transition to becoming a buyers market: 38%  
Buyer's market: 10%  
 
 
Your opinion on whether 2018 will be a buyer's or a seller's market in the following categories

(Buyer's market / Seller's market / Transitioning to a buyer's market / Transitioning to a seller's market)

Hotel rooms: 13% / 66% / 19% / 2%
Meeting rooms: 9% / 70% / 19% / 4%
Airfare: 11% / 77% / 10% / 2%
Ground transportation: 34% / 51% / 12% / 3%
F&B costs: 12% / 74% / 12% / 2%
Audio/Visual costs: 15% / 74% / 10% / 1%
WiFi costs: 15% / 68% / 16% / 1%
Meetings technology: 31% / 57% 11% 1%
On-site activities: 35% / 50% / 13% / 2%
Off-site activities: 49% / 35% / 14% / 2%
Off-site special event venues: 38% / 45% / 15% / 2%
    

Most difficult challenges in creating meetings content in 2018  
 
Creating compelling meeting content: 65%  
Create compelling meeting environments that enhance learning: 58%
Getting quality speakers and presenters: 42%
Getting attendees to embrace apps and second screen technologies: 36%
Getting enough WiFi bandwidth to meet content needs: 31%   
Ability to develop virtual meeting offerings for your attendees: 21%  
Providing healthy activity options for attendees: 10%  
 
 
Estimated meetings budgets for 2018  

 
More than $50M: 4%  
$20M to $49M: 4%  
$10M to $19M: 7%  
$6M to $9M: 6%  
$1M to $5M: 26%  
$500K to $999K: 15%  
$250K to $499K: 10%  
$100K to $249K: 13%  
$50K to $99K: 9%  
Less than 50K: 9%  
 
 
2018 meeting budgets compared to 2017  
 
Decrease significantly: 5%  
Decrease slightly: 13%  
No change: 38%  
Increase slightly: 40%  
Increase significantly: 4%  
 

Number of off-site meetings planned for 2018  
 
Over 50: 21%  
26 to 49: 9%  
11 to 25: 18%  
6 to 10: 23%  
1 to 5: 29%  
 
 
How the number of meetings will change in 2018 compared with 2017  

(More / Less / Unchanged / Not applicable)

Sales meetings: 17% / 4% / 38% / 41%
Training meetings: 30% / 5% / 46% / 19%
Trade shows: 14% / 17% / 40% / 29%
Consumer/marketing events: 18% / 10% / 28% / 44%
Incentives: 13% / 7% / 32% / 48%
Association meetings: 17% / 10% / 43% / 30%
Virtual meetings: 34% / 2% / 28% / 36%
Hybrid meetings: 21% / 3% / 27% / 49%
 

Most common cost-cutting measures for 2018  

 
Avoiding resort/beach destinations: 27%  
Booking lower tier hotels: 26%  
Offering fewer optional activities: 30%  
Eliminating all optional activities: 9%  
Reducing the food & beverage budget: 55%