2016 International Meetings Trends

Recently, Successful Meetings sent a survey out to our readership asking them about their organizations international meetings. Of the respondents 47 percent were corporate planners, 29 percent were independent or third party planners, and 24 percent worked for associations. Of that pool, 93 percent reported that their organizations plan to maintain or increase the number of international meetings held this year. Here's what else they had to say.


Number of meetings planned outside the United States each year: 

1-5: 44%
6-10: 19%
11-25: 19%
26-50: 4%
Over 50: 8%
Plan meetings internationally but not on an annual basis: 6%


Largest meeting in terms of attendees planned outside of the United States: 

Under 50: 25%
51-100: 22%
101-250: 26%
251-500: 9%
501-1000: 7%
1001-3000: 7%
3001-5000: 0%
Over 5000: 4%


Compared to 2015, the number of programs planned using destinations outside of the United States in 2016 has: 

Increased: 26%
Stayed the same: 67%
Decreased: 7%


Compared to 2015, the budget for programs held at destinations outside of the United States in 2016 has: 

Increased: 31%
Stayed the same: 58%
Decreased: 11%


Most common types of programs hosted at destinations outside of the United States: 

Conferences: 72%
Training Meetings: 44%
Incentive Travel: 37%
Management/Board Meetings: 35%
Exhibitions: 29%
Conventions: 25%
Sales Meetings: 25%
Trade Shows: 24%
Marketing Events: 18%

The most challenging aspects of planning programs outside of the United States:

Overall costs: 60%
Travel time required: 43%
Communications/language barriers: 38%
Security concerns: 37%
Fluctuating exchange rates: 26%
Passport requirements: 18%
Air access: 15%
Understanding local customs: 15%
Service levels: 17%
Lack of non-smoking hotel rooms: 0%


Effect the terror threat posed by ISIS has had on the willingness of key stakeholders to consider international destinations as sites for meetings and events:

All of them are unwilling to consider international destinations: 2%
Some of them are unwilling to consider international destinations: 24%
It has had no effect on them: 25%
They are cautious, but still willing to consider international destinations: 49%


Effect the Zika virus has had on the willingness of key stakeholders to consider international destinations as sites for meetings and events:

All of them are unwilling to consider international destinations: 4%
Some of them are unwilling to consider international destinations: 28%
It has had no effect on them: 28%
They are cautious, but still willing to consider international destinations: 40%


Regions where organizations would be most likely to host a meeting outside of the United States:

North America (Canada, Mexico): 70%
Europe: 54%
Caribbean: 45%
Asia: 30%
Central and South America: 20%
Middle East: 10%
Australia and South Pacific: 10%
Africa: 5%

Most important site selection factors for international destinations:

1. Security/safety
2. Location
3. Air access
4. Catering costs
5. Air costs
6. Size of meeting facilities
7. Reputation
8. Quality of accommodations 
9. Appeal of destination
10. Favorable exchange rate
11. Quality, attentiveness of staff: 
12. Ease of acquiring entrance/exit requirements
13. Size of city
14. Accommodations costs
15. Climate: 
16. Cultural attractions: 
17. Strong membership/employee/client base in the region