American Express Meetings and Events forecast ‘optimistic’ despite political instability

The American Express Meetings and Events’ 2020 Forecast reports that meeting professionals are “looking aggressively” towards 2020 as all meeting types are suspected to see steady growth for a fifth consecutive year.

The key findings from the report indicate that overall European meeting spend is predicted to increase by 2.1 per cent and cost per attendee, per day, is expected to increase by 1.9 per cent for incentives and special events.

However, meeting planners in Europe are facing specific challenges in relation to the multifaceted rules surrounding GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the ongoing political instability being inflicted by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Of those surveyed, many European-based planners said they are mindful of how they deliver an event experience while remaining GDPR compliant. However, the new data regulations don’t appear to be dampening event planners’ enthusiasm as the report found planners would prioritise experiential elements over logistics to drive engagement.

According to the report, one way planners are expected to drive engagement is by integrating technology that mirrors how attendees interact with technology in their daily lives, to create authentic event experiences.

“Overall, it’s inspiring to see an optimistic outlook about the meetings and events industry as we look to 2020. Meetings and events have cemented their place as a critical driver of communications, growth, and engagement for organisations of all shapes and sizes,” said Gerardo Tejado, general manager at American Express Meetings and Events.

“The challenge for planners now lies in making more out of what they have—creating a seamless experience for meeting attendees, using technology for an authentic purpose, and meeting the demand for personalised experiences.”

The 2020 Global Meetings & Events Forecast is based on a survey of more than 550 meetings and events professionals from around the world, and interviews with industry experts. Respondents represent corporations, associations, buyers and suppliers from five continents and 33 countries. The result is a statistically and globally representative picture of the 2020 meetings and events industry.