Meetings Professional Findings - Q1 2018 Pulse Survey
For the start of 2018, meetings professionals were experiencing a rebound in the size and number of meetings being planned, with significant numbers reporting increases in both metrics as compared to Q3/Q4 2017. Nearly twice as many respondents (28%) saw the size of meetings being planned increase, and 35% indicated number being planned was also increasing. Unlike earlier surveys, however, those professionals were experiencing greater stability in the lead time for planning those meetings. To view this and other findings from the Q1 2018 Pulse Survey, download the full report.
For the first time, the Pulse Survey included a line of questioning around top considerations for meeting and event destinations. For meetings professionals planning business meeting(s) or event(s), rates were reported as the top consideration for nearly half of respondents, while rates were a top consideration for only 12% of those planning incentive program(s). For incentive programs, appeal of destination was the top-rated consideration. While safety was not ranked as a top consideration for 2018 business meeting or event or incentive destinations, those at insurance companies did note it as a consideration in greater numbers than those at financial services or financial services and insurance firms.
Additionally, while sharing economy platforms have become very popular for individual travel, most (79%) meetings professionals are not currently using services like Uber, Lyft or AirBnB for meetings and incentives.
Sales meetings, incentives with spouses or companions and management team meetings were the types of meetings planned by the most meetings professionals polled, with 79%-83% indicating a role in those meeting types. For the purposes of the Q1 2018 Pulse Survey, incentives were defined as qualifications-based reward trips. The majority of meetings professionals also planned meetings not just in the U.S. or North America, but also internationally, with 59% indicating international destinations for their work. As compared to those at financial services or financial services and insurance companies, those at companies only offering insurance products were much less likely to plan international meetings.
The majority of meetings professionals also indicated that they sometimes included a CSR component to meetings and events planned, but only did so when it fit in with the destination choice.
Hospitality Partner Findings - Q1 2018 Pulse Survey
The Q1 2018 Pulse Survey report also shows that hospitality partners in the FICP community had a more positive business outlook for 2018 than they reported mid-year 2017, with 53% expecting business to increase in 2018, as compared to 42% expecting business to increase in Q2 2017. Those who indicated a partner category of hotel (chain, small collection or independent) were more likely to indicate they expected business to increase or stay the same than those in other hospitality partner categories (such as DMC, cruise line or technology provider).
Within the financial services and insurance industry specifically, more hospitality professionals were experiencing stability in cycle times for event planning and customer budgets for food & beverage or off-site events; however, 27% were experiencing an increase in bookings of luxury hotels & resorts.
The expereinces of hospitality partners was very similar to the reports by meetings professionals with regard to top 2018 destination considerations, with rates as the top influencer for business meetings and events, and appeal of destinations ranking as the top consideration they heard for incentive programs. The experiences of hospitality partners were also similar to their meetings professional counterparts with regard to use of sharing economy platforms and their business impact -- 67% were experiencing no impact from the use of services such as Uber, Lyft and AirBnB by meetings professionals. Additionally, most hospitality partners had not been adversely affected by 2017 natural disasters; only 19% saw a decrease in business or RfPs as a result.
About the Q1 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 December 2017, meetings professionals and hospitality partners were invited to take a the Q1 survey to share their experiences on trends and conditions impacting their work. As with its previous Pulse surveys, FICP can now provide benchmarking with past-survey data. Download your full copy of the Q1 Pulse Survey Report for additional insight from your peers, and stay tuned for future Pulse survey invitations.