Sunday, January 16, 2011

Meeting Industry in the last twelve months

                                                 fig: Bruce Macmillan(  

The last of couple of years were not very good for the meeting industry worldwide. Due to Economic downturn most of the companies had cut down their meeting expenditure. But as the Economy is slowly recovering so is the meeting industry worldwide. In the last twelve months industry had shown signals of growth and is expected to do better in the coming time. During EBITM James Latham from “Meeting review” caught up with Bruce Macmillan, CEO and president of MPI, Meeting professional international a professional community for global meeting professionals. During the interview Mr. Macmillan gave a brief idea on the growth pattern of the industry in the last twelve months, new trends and the future strategies. The link for the video of the interview could be found below:

In the given blog the author had attempted to write the key points of the interview which go as follow: -

• The overall industry seems much greener this time. If the year before the previous one was 20 percent greener with respect to growing business conditions the previous one was 70% greener.

• The key driver of the business is delivering value to the customers. Though hospitality has an important role to play but it is just a supporting constituent, providing value to the customers is of highest significance. It is essential that the attendees attending must get some value from the meetings. It all works in a cycle, the better value for the attendee’s leads to high attendees which translates into better relationship and better business.

• On being asked about the economic and political importance of meetings felt more among the developing nations rather than the matured markets he said that MPI is conducting an Economic impact study of meeting in USA and the result will be out somewhere in the January 2011. The report will consider various parameters such as economic values derived from meetings, employments development on account of meetings etc.

• Confidence is another important factor. Until unless confidence is not there business cannot aim high. Confidence will make businesses ,to invest in meetings and events, customers to attend the meetings. According to Macmillan there is a renewed confidence in the industry. There was a survey done among thousand decision makers all across which shows that there is huge increase in attendance in meetings where as moderate increase in spending. In the survey 49% said there had been increase in attendance, 30% said decrease where as 21% said no change. In spending on meetings 39% said there had been an increase whereas 30% said that there had been a decrease. 41% said there is no change in spending.

• On being asked about social media Macmillan said that the social media plays a very important role in circulating the content. He emphasized on heavily on high quality content development. At chapters, magazines, internal levels, websites everywhere content should be developed and then social media should be used to circulate it to bigger audience, in associating end users with the content and understanding their feedback. Talking about MPI he said that in spite of market conditions not being very favorable it invested 25% more in developing better contents in the form of better research tools, assessment kits, career development tools, training and development tools etc.

• On being asked about the condition of market which was quite a buyer’s market since the past two years he said that definitely it had been a buyer’s market but in order to make the meetings more productive it is essential that high end values be passed on to consumers. To make that happen higher prices have to be charged. It’s not possible to give high end values without some increment in price.

• In the concluding part of the interview he said in order to drive business strong relationships are required and nothing can build strong relationship than face to face meetings.

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