MPI's FutureWatch: Meeting Planners Doing More With Less

The global meetings and events industry this year is transitioning into an era of "creativity, flexibility and strategic relationship building," concludes FutureWatch 2010, the latest meetings trends forecast from Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and American Express.

"As our businesses shift from the mindset of survive to thrive, it's imperative that we have the ability to analyze relevant data and translate it into business success," MPI CEO Bruce MacMillan said in a statement. "The 2010 edition of FutureWatch empowers industry professionals with timely data they can utilize to make critical business decisions."

Released yesterday, FutureWatch 2010 predicts that U.S. meeting planners will plan 21 percent more meetings in 2010 than they did in 2009 while spending 3.5 percent less per meeting.

The report also concludes that planners expect to locate 80 percent of their meetings within the United States this year, compared to 61 percent last year.

Finally, the report identifies several industry trends, including the proliferation of:

• Meetings that are located closer to home
• Meetings ROI
• Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
• Technology

For meeting planners, the highest technology-related priority this year is improving the audio/visual experience for attendees. For suppliers, meanwhile, it's improving their customer relationship management (CRM) software.

For more information about FutureWatch 2010, including a free executive summary, visit www.mpiweb.org.