by Matt Alderton | October 14, 2015
Combined with positive economic trends, companies' continued global expansion promises good tidings for the meetings industry, according to American Express Meetings & Events, which yesterday published its "2016 Global Meetings Forecast." In it, the company predicts increases in the number of meetings and in overall meeting budgets in all regions of the world as organizations continue to leverage face-to-face collaboration to drive business growth.

"The resurgence of meetings and events over the past few years has allowed meetings professionals to demonstrate the strong value that face-to-face meetings continue to offer globally," said Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager, American Express Meetings & Events. "Our customers recognize this value of interaction and seek opportunities to engage, reward, and build meaningful experiences for meetings professionals through their managed programs."

In North America, American Express Meetings & Events notes several key trends, including:

More training meetings:
Companies are expected to hold more training and internal meetings than any other type of meeting next year. As a result of recent economic growth, companies also are renewing their focus on employee-centric meetings by planning a greater number of incentive meetings and special events.

Increased attendance:
As the number of meetings is predicted to increase, attendee levels in North America are also expected to trend upwards. However, meeting planners are also implementing processes to ensure the right audiences are in attendance to further maximize their returns on their meetings investments and increase compliance.

Higher spending:
Although the length of meetings is predicted to remain largely unchanged in 2016, overall program spend is expected to rise, marking the largest forecasted spend increase in three years. A 4.2 percent increase in hotel costs is partly to blame, suggests American Express Meetings & Events, which said budgets remain tightly controlled even amid increased spending.

Orlando rises:
The most popular meeting destinations are Orlando, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Atlanta. Last year, Chicago was No. 1 and Orlando was No. 2.

The complete "2016 Global Meetings Forecast," including regional findings from Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, is available for download from the American Express Meetings & Events website.




















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