The future is looking brighter for destination management companies, according to a survey by Global Events Partners of its member DMC firms in more than 60 countries worldwide: More than 90 percent of respondent companies expect corporate meetings expenditures to increase in 2006.
United States-based DMCs were more optimistic than overseas firms, attributable to a somewhat chilly European business climate, and to a more rigorous implementation in Europe of procurement consolidation practices.
"The advent of procurement here in the U.S. is relatively new, but in Europe that pressure has built up to an extraordinary degree, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries," says Chris White, CEO of Global Events Partners.
"Now there are these procurement people and other parties who do nothing other than look over every line item."
Cities in China and Eastern Europe were named hot destinations for corporate events in 2006, joining perennial favorites Las Vegas and Orlando, two destinations mentioned by nearly half of all respondents.
"We're also seeing tremendous interest in Prague and Budapest, as well as in places that have not been on the radar, like Dubrovnik, Riga, and St. Petersburg," White says.
In addition, France received several mentions as a hot spot.