2012 to see surge in global meetings, according to American Express

The majority of global event suppliers are predicting an increase in meetings activity in 2012, but only 7% are anticipating a growth in budgets, according to research conducted by American Express Meetings & Events.

The events arm of the financial services and consultancy firm, which earlier this year formed a joint venture with creative and event production agency WRG, was speaking at EIBTM. It said that 60% of global suppliers had seen an increase in planned and booked meetings for 2012.

The research revealed that the majority (60%) of suppliers are forecasting budgets will remain static in 2012, with 33% anticipating an increase. 40% are expecting a decrease in the number of attendees at meetings, with only 20% expecting growth.

Michael Schüller, American Express Meetings & Events’ vice-president EMEA, said: "There is a lot of uncertainty in the financial environment, but we are still seeing this increase. Companies need to continue to meet because there is value in [doing so]."

He said that the fall in attendees-per-event was because attendance was being whittled down to a core of professionals. But he added that convergent technology was leading to events being viewed 'virtually' by more

The research also found that 73% of respondents expected the volume of 'green' meetings to increase in 2012, but that 'green' considerations were not impacting on the decision-making process.

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