One of the key takeaways of the first FICP Pulse Survey was that many of our meetings professionals were being tasked with more work in less time – meetings were getting bigger and the number of meetings was increasing, while the lead time was also getting shorter.
Fortunately, the results of FICP’s just-released Q3 Pulse Survey show that these conditions are improving for many of those same professionals, and that meetings professionals at nearly all of their companies influence executive decision making. For our hospitality partners, their business outlook remains strong for the second consecutive quarter. Check out other highlights and findings from the Q3 Pulse below.
As noted above, 74% indicated the size of meetings being planned has remained the same, as compared to 53% in Q2. An increasing number of respondents also saw greater stability in the number of meetings being planned and lead time for meetings being planned as compared to earlier this year. This consistency in size, number and lead time was more true for those planning meetings and events at financial services companies than others in the industry.
Overall, 94% of respondents indicated that meetings professionals have influence on decision making with executives, even though most do not work within a dedicated meetings organization at their companies. While those with more than 6 years of professional experience and those at insurance companies indicated this in higher numbers, the majority of professionals at all experience levels and company types noted this influence at their companies.
On the hospitality partner side, business outlook remains strong in Q3. In terms of frequency and pace of RfPs over the next six months, 89% expected business to increase or remain the same. This is similar to 92% who anticipated business to remain the same or increase in Q2. That audience noted that this time of year is historically a busy one.
Seventy-five percent indicated having been either positively impacted or not impacted by merger and acquisition activity in both the financial services and hospitality industries. A common theme in open-ended comments to explain this impact was an expectation that mergers result in the need for more meetings.
Meetings professionals at financial services or insurance companies are directly responsible for a significant volume of FICP hospitality partners’ business, with 32% indicating that 26-50% is from this source and 22% noting up to 75% of their business coming from these professionals. Those at chain hotels experienced the greatest volume of business from meetings professionals in the financial services and insurance industry. As a result of increasing food, labor and related costs, 49% of those hotel chain representatives also indicated that their F&B minimums were also increasing.
Additionally, for meetings professionals seeking to build or improve relationships with their hospitality partners, it’s important to note that responsiveness is the key. Answering calls or emails was rated as the practice that is the most effective for 78%.
About the Q3 Pulse Survey
Featuring data on trends impacting both meetings professionals and hospitality partners within the FICP community, FICP’s new Pulse Survey is intended to provide timely and relevant information to those across the meetings and events industry.
In September 2017, meetings professionals and hospitality partners were invited to take a the Q3 survey to share their experiences on trends and conditions impacting their work. With its second Pulse survey, FICP can now provide benchmarking with past-survey data. Download your full copy of the Q3 Pulse Survey Report for additional insight from your peers, and stay tuned for future Pulse survey invitations.