Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 2012

12th Annual Meetings Industry Forecast

By Michelle Russell
GBTA’s list of travel taxes (hotel, car rental, and meal taxes) in the top 50 U.S. destinations, go to convn.org/GBTA-taxes.


International Meetings and Figures

  • Average registration fee per delegate per meeting in 2011: $561 (down from $584 in 2010). 
  • Most popular subject for inter-national meetings: medical sci-ence, followed by technology. 
  • North America has been the region with the largest average numbers of participants per meeting over the last decade, with an average 732 participants per meeting in 2011, followed by Latin America. 
  • The average number of par-ticipants per meeting reached its lowest point of the past decade in 2011, with 535 participants per international meeting, a drop of 36 participants per meeting com-pared to 2010. 
  • Estimated total number of participants of all 2011 meetings: 5.5 million-plus (compared to 5.4 million in 2010). 
  • Most popular month for asso-ciation meetings: September, fol-lowed by June, October, and May. 
  • The smallest meeting size has become the biggest category since 2009: 30 percent of all the identi-fied meetings that were organized in 2011 attracted between 50 and 149 participants — a growth of 11 percent over the past decade. 
  • The U.S. saw the biggest jump in the number of events held in 2011 over 2010, up by 136 meet-ings to a new record of 759. 
SOURCE: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Statistics Report 2002-2011, International Meetings Market, iccaworld.com

Top International Meeting Destinations in 2011

Countries (number of meetings)

Source A
1. Singapore 919
2. USA 744
3. Japan 598
4. France 557
5. Belgium 533
6. South Korea 469
7. Germany 421
8. Austria 390
9. Spain 386
10. Australia 329

Source B
1. USA 759
2. Germany 577
3. Spain 463
4. U.K. 434
5. France 428
6.  Italy 363
7. Brazil 304
8. China 302
9. Netherlands 291
10. Austria 267

Cities (number of meetings)
Source A
1. Singapore 919
2. Brussels 464
3. Paris 336
4. Vienna 286
5. Seoul 232
6. Budapest 168
7. Tokyo 153
8. Barcelona 150
9. Berlin 149
10. Geneva 121

Source B
1. Vienna 181
2. Paris174
3. Barcelona 150
4. Berlin 147
5. Singapore 142
6. Madrid 130
7. London 115
8. Amsterdam 114  
9. Istanbul 113  
10. Beijing 111

SOURCE A: Union of International Associations’ International Meetings Statistics for the Year 2011, uia.be

SOURCE B: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Statistics Report 2002-2011, International Meetings Market, iccaworld.com

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Meetings and Events

Washington, D.C.
Las Vegas
San Diego
New Orleans

SOURCE: Cvent Supplier Network (booking activity) cvent.com

Top  10 Largest  U.S. Medical Meetings (by  total attendance)

1.  Radiological  Society  of North  America:  59,097
2.  Greater  New York  Dental Meeting: 53,789
3.  FIME  Show:  52,723
4.  American  Society  of Clinical  Oncology —  Annual  Meeting:  31,800
5.  Society  for  Neuroscience:  31,500
6.  American  Academy of Orthopaedic  Surgeons: 31,456
7.  HIMSS:  Healthcare  Information  &  Management Systems  Society:  31,293
8.  Chicago  Dental Society:  30,575
9.  Massachusetts  Dental Society  —  Yankee Dental Congress:  27,685
10. California  Dental Association —  Anaheim: 27,410  

SOURCE:  Healthcare  Convention & Exhibitors  Association (HCEA), hcea.org

Top  20 U.S. Health-Care Meeting Sites

Las Vegas
Washington, D.C.
San  Diego
San  Francisco
New  Orleans
San  Antonio
Denver /  Miami (tie)
Baltimore /  Phoenix  (tie)
New  York  /  Philadelphia  /  Columbus  /  Honolulu (tie) 

SOURCE:  Healthcare  Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA), hcea.org

U.S. Exhibition Facts and Figures

Results from the 2012 CEIR Index Report ( ceir.org), which takes into account net square footage, attendance, number of exhibitors, and total event gross revenue:

  • The industry grew  by 2.7 percent  in 2011  (beating  CEIR’s forecast  of 2.4 percent from  a  year earlier).
  • Attendance grew from 2.4 percent in 2010 to 3.4 percent last year. 
  • The industry will end 2012 with 2.9 percent overall growth across the board, and even stronger growth is predicted in 2013 (3.2 percent) and 2014 (3.4 percent). 
  • Exhibitions in some industry sectors experienced especially strong growth in 2011, including those involving machinery (11.2 percent overall), communication and information technology (8.1 percent), and transportation (5.7 percent). 
  • Shows involving building, construction and real estate (which experienced a 5.3-percent decline in 2011) as well as finance and business services continue to lag behind.

On the Horizon
Technology’s Influence

“One of the most important exhibition industry elements that event organizers should have on their radar screen for 2013 is the impact and influence of technology at meetings, exhibitions, and events. Technology continues to positively augment the total experience that an attendee has. This includes prior to, during, and after their attendance. For those who are not able to attend in person, technology enables them to experience important elements of programs that help to encourage future participation at in-person/live activities.”

David DuBois , CMP, CAE, CTA, President, International Association of Exhibitions and Events

North American Bookings

Meetings and events spending continues to grow in North America, with an average 4.8-percent increase expected in cost per attendee per day, along with an average 6-percent increase in group size. Booking windows have increased 5 percent, as organizations feel more confident about the future; given this, advance bookings for 2013 are already strong.

SOURCE: Carlson Wagonlit, carlsonwagonlit.com

More Resources
For a video overview of the results presented at CEIR Predict  on  Sept. 13 in New York City, visit convn.org/CEIR-Predict


Technology Tools

Be on the lookout for these technology tools to become available and to grow in popularity in 2013:

  • Phablets — An amalgamation of smartphone and tablet, which serves as a communication and Internet device, available at a lower cost than a tablet and offering a larger screen than a smartphone. 
  • Holographic display and infared keyboards — Which should help smart-phone users type and interact with a much larger keyboard.
  • Near-field communications (NFC) — Now included in the iPhone 5, NFC technology allows commercial transactions to be done wirelessly through mobile devices without the need for data cards. The phone can be paired (placed next to another phone) or can tap products in order to transfer files, read product information, and finalize financial transactions.
  • Voice assistants — Siri was just the beginning. It is expected that future incarnations will be better at interpreting human commands, able to provide map-related answers, and recall user contacts. 
  • Sixth Sense technology — Ability to use gestures to manipulate all sorts of daily activities, read information from the Internet, and project information on any wall. 
  • Wearable computing — A revamped iPod Nano, the Pebble watch project, and other similar tools will enable people to check their watch or a necklace regularly for messages from their friends instead of checking their smartphones. 
  • Cloud computing — Trillions of dollars of IT spending are moving from data centers and software licenses to cloud services. Soon you’ll be able to read about companies with 10,000 employees who don’t have dedicated data centers. 

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