A third of meeting planners expect attendance levels at their big
meetings to at least match pre-pandemic levels in 2023, according to new
research by Northstar Meetings Group.
And in signs of an increasingly bullish market, almost two-thirds
(65%) of those quizzed expected numbers to reach at least three-quarters
of the numbers they had before 2020.
The survey, sponsored by Visit Orlando, was based on responses from
194 qualified meeting professionals who organise business events with at
least 1,000 attendees.
Planners surveyed were primarily from associations, third-party,
independent, professional conference and trade-show organisers, and
corporations. The survey was conducted between 15 Feb and 15 March,
Its aim was to identify what organisers of large business events need
to do to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era as attendance
levels at meetings continue to lag pre-pandemic figures.
Attendee satisfaction topped the list ahead of financial
profitability, whilst 'size of audience' was not the leading metric to
determine the success of a meeting.
The survey covers topics such as event technology to sustainability
and asks whether near-term tactical challenges pose a greater threat to
the success of future events than long-term strategical ones.
The survey had
this concluding comment: “Organisers are confident in the positioning
of their events; attendance is recovering, and many planners already
have implemented measures that they deem crucial to the success of their
future gatherings. Challenges such as rising F&B costs and reduced
availability are cyclical and likely manageable in the long term. Of
greater concern to the industry’s bright future is whether long-term
questions are truly being addressed.”