MPI’s Q1 2024 Meetings Outlook Report Looks Promising

According to the association’s quarterly industry snapshot the business of live events is healthy

Meeting Professionals International (MPI), quarterly Meetings Outlook Report finds positive sentiment for the overall business of live events in Q1 of 2024. Grow is trending upwards across the most significant metrics — business conditions, attendance, budgets— while hiring difficulties have improved for each of the past three quarters.

Business Conditions & Attendance

Business conditions are viewed as increasingly positive once again, with 76% of respondents projecting favorable conditions for the year ahead. That’s up 6% over last quarter but down 9% compared to this time last year.
Attendance projections continue to mirror the overall business conditions results, with 18% expecting an increase in live attendance over the next year of more than 10%, nearly 21% projecting a 6% to 10% increase and nearly 38% expecting an increase less than 5%. Virtual attendance projections remain stable with 18% of respondents saying they expect favorable virtual attendance over the
next year (this has stayed at 17% or 18% for the past four quarters). Significantly, however, nearly 49% expect virtual attendance to decline in the coming year.

Budgets & Cost Cutting

While budget projections continue to inch up slightly (72% of respondents expect favorable changes over the next year), inflation is, for many respondents, necessitating the implementation of cost-cutting measures.
Top 5 areas in which planners have made major cuts:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Promotional products
  3. Destination choice
  4. Hotel/venue choice
  5. Contractors

Top 5 areas in which suppliers have made major cuts:

  1. Promotional products
  2. Entertainment
  3. FAMs
  4. Advertising/marketing
  5. Audiovisual

Hiring Challenges

We’re finally seeing a change in hiring difficulties. While 46% of respondents say it’s still difficult to fill job vacancies, this is the third consecutive quarter in which that figure has decreased. In addition, 26% of survey respondents say at least half of their staff has been hired since Jan. 2020.

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Photo by Al Soot on Unsplash

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