IMEX Survey Offers Positive Meetings Industry Outlook

In the wake of its April 2008 trade show in Frankfurt, Germany, IMEX—the annual gathering for the global meetings industry—has announced the results of its annual Post Show Survey, which suggests a positive outlook for the global meetings market in the coming year, despite economic uncertainty in some parts of the world.

More than 3,500 exhibitors from 150 countries attended IMEX this year, along with 3,600 hosted buyers from almost 60 world markets. As a group, they are optimistic about the future of their industry, shows the IMEX survey, which posed two main questions to a total of 515 respondents upon the completion of this year's show.

In answer to the first question—"How do you think the current economic climate will affect the corporate/association meetings sector?"—most respondents suggested that they expect business to continue at its usual rate, with modest growth and no decline.

The second post-show survey question asked respondents if they still believe that challenging economic times benefit the incentive travel market because motivational programs help companies achieve their performance targets. Most told IMEX that they do.

"These results show that the meetings industry is not only holding steady, but also has good reason to be positive about its future prospects," IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom said in a statement. "Our findings show this is evident across a variety of global markets too. Many commentators within the meetings and incentive travel markets argue that this industry incorporates many 'recession-proof qualities' because executives need to confer and talk, and because corporate productivity is measurably improved by using motivational strategies."

IMEX 2009 will take place May 26 through May 29 in Frankfurt. For more information, visit www.imex-frankfurt.com.