Oil and gas, insurance and tech offer greatest events opportunities, advises American Express VP

Events professionals can reap rewards by focusing on the oil and gas, insurance and technology industries, according to American Express vice president of global business development Milton Rivera.

American Express Meetings & Events VP global business development Milton Rivera shares insights at MPI Economic Update 2013
American Express Meetings & Events VP global business development Milton Rivera shares insights at MPI Economic Update 2013

Speaking at the MPI Economic Impact Update at the London Stock Exchange last night (22 January), Rivera joined Amex Meetings & Events vice president EMEA Michael Schuller and Markit senior economist Jack Kennedy to share insights.

"The oil and gas [industries] are doing extremely well, and their meetings and events are going up proportionally," explained Rivera.

"Meanwhile, the insurance industry has shaken off the negative connotations of doing incentives, which were a no-no three years ago. We also see steady growth on the technology side, because there is a high level of competition between companies."

Amex Global Forecast

Rivera and Schuller presented findings from the American Express Meetings & Events Global Meetings Forecast 2013, which was first revealed at EIBTM 2012.

Data showed that the number of meetings is forecast to drop 2.3% across Europe next year, with overall meeting spend shrinking 6%.

In the UK, specifically, the number of meetings is predicted to dip by 4.9%, with overall spend down 6.6%, and number of attendees down 2.3%.

Meanwhile, lead times will reduce by 6%, while there is a rising interest in virtual meetings, which needs to be met with strategy and investment.

Economic outlook

Financial information company Markit’s senior economist Jack Kennedy said the key issue for the coming year was that there is a "lack of confidence in the broader economic outlook".

In terms of marketing, events make up 11% of those budgets, he added.

"It looks like it is going to be a pretty tough year for the industry as a whole," warned Kennedy.

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