IMEX Issues Positive Forecast for 2011 Meetings

As they look toward 2011, meetings professionals are more confident than cautious, indicating increased optimism about the future of meetings and events, according to the IMEX Group's latest IMEX Global Insights Report, the results of which were released today.

Having surveyed a standing panel of 45 senior meetings industry professionals, IMEX predicts an increase next year in the number of meetings held, as well as available budgets.

Specifically, 58 percent of senior meeting professionals said they expect the number of meetings, events or incentives that they're responsible for to increase next year. Meanwhile, 57 percent said they expect their 2011 budgets to increase — 18 percent of them "significantly." Last year at this time, 57 percent expected the number of meetings to remain the same as the previous year, while 60 percent expected their budgets to either be cut or remain the same.

"The apparent new mood in these 2010 results seems to support the idea that the industry has emerged from the worst of the recession," reads a news release from IMEX. "While previous uncertainty about the stability of the global economy led to a more modest outlook focused on short-term planning, this time respondents appear to foresee a stronger industry outlook over the next 12 months."

Compared to the first quarter of 2010, 71 percent of survey respondents said they feel more optimistic.

Still, financial concerns persist, as 26 percent of survey respondents identified cost-cutting as their top priority, while a quarter of them said demonstrating meetings ROI — "in a way that management fully understands" — is a top priority.

Another top priority: sustainability, which 42 percent of respondents said they're fully committed to.

For more information, including complete survey results, visit