Meeting professionals in the US
and Europe have reported a 10 per cent
increase in full-time employment since October 2011, despite global economic
concerns according to the latest Business Barometer from Meeting Professionals International (MPI).
An increase in part-time and contract employment of 15 per
cent was also reported by meetings professionals in the US. Available candidates from the industry pool shrank during
the past few years as meeting professionals turned to new careers or launched
their own companies – which has boosted competition and pricing pressure and
heightened the importance of training.
Growth in business has required companies that were doing
‘more with less’ to hire, and if necessary train, new employees and narrow
their market scope while increasing the number of services they offer so that
they can compete in an overcrowded market
The MPI survey also shows that weaknesses in the eurozone and political and
economic turmoil in the US have pushed third-party planners and suppliers to develop
strategic marketing plans and improve their efficiency, while corporate and
association planners are relying on aggressive contract negotiations and planning further
ahead to lock in low prices.
Attendance levels for events in both North America and Europe also reversed
direction in December, with meeting professionals indicating an increase of
approximately 1.5 per cent, and those in Canada noting an increase of one
per cent over attendance figures from 2010.
Planners also highlighted a consistent increase of one per cent for budget/spend in
North America and Europe to support claims
that the industry is undergoing a gradual recovery. The US is seeing its greatest gains in the corporate sector, while gains in Canada and Europe are being driven by international association business.
However, some third-party planners, individual properties
and specific service providers reported a consistent decline in business for