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Event spend to remain flat due to Brexit and terrorism

Overall activity in Europe set to decline according to American Express 2017 Global Meetings and Events Forecast

Pictured: Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager of American Express M&E

Uncertainty around Brexit and terrorism will see European meetings and events spend remain flat next year, according to the sixth annual global and meetings forecast from American Express Meetings & Events

A “sense of caution” is set to contribute to a decline in the number of meetings and the number of attendees per meeting – but there will be an increase in smaller meetings.

And while London was named the top meetings and events city in Europe, respondents also predicted a rise in the use of second tier cities.

Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager of American Express M&E, said: “Europe has its share of uncertainty, with the influence of Brexit and concerns over acts of terrorism. These events have resulted in a sense of caution across the region. Budgets across Europe are expected to remain flat, with country predictions for 2017 varying, and Germany showing the most optimism, predicting overall meetings budget growth of 3.3 per cent.”

UK meeting budgets are expected to grow by just 1.2 per cent next year, while there is an anticipated decrease in France of 1.2 per cent. 

Respondents predict overall decreases in the number of meetings across most meeting types for 2017, marking a shift from the upward trend of 2015 and 2016. UK respondents suggest decreases across several meeting types, such as incentives and special events and senior leadership meetings.

While respondents anticipate fewer meetings for several meeting types, many suggest the typically smaller internal, advisory and training meetings will increase. Moreover, experts in Europe see a growing focus on smaller meetings and more meetings being held closer to home. 

Also, while large cities continue to dominate across Europe, several countries anticipate a growing trend towards second tier cities. 

In 2016, UK respondents predicted that 100 per cent of meetings would be held in large cities, but UK respondents for this year’s survey predict this number will decrease to 81 per cent in 2017. Germany is also expected to see a decrease from 91 per cent to 81 per cent in large cities, while 19 per cent will be held in second-tier cities.

And there was good news for the UK as London was named the top European city for meetings and events activity, based on data from Cvent.

The full top 10 was as follows:
1. London
2. Barcelona
3. Amsterdam
4. Paris
5. Berlin
6. Rome
7. Frankfurt
8. Madrid
9. Brussels
10. Prague

The full 2017 Global Meetings and Events Forecast can be accessed at:

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