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12 Keywords for the Change in Meetings Industry Trend 8. Convergence of Meetings and Incentives

Today, we are witnessing speedy development of new technologies such as mobile, social media, and virtual reality, and an outpouring variety of social issues such as economic depression and environmental questions. Under such circumstances, meetings industry people, who should lead the change, need to smartly cope with trends in the world with their brilliant insight into the world affairs. In this light, we have identified twelve major trends that reflect latest changes in the global meetings industry. Eighth keyword is convergence of meetings and incentives.

8. Convergence of Meetings and Incentives

Strategy to Boost Efficiency in Implementation of Business Meetings and Incentives in Combination

2008 saw a worldwide economic depression in the wake of the financial crisis that struck the US economy, and meetings market was no exception to its aftereffect. As some of the extravagant meetings were presented to the public through media, the entire meetings industry bore the full brunt of public criticism. And as a result, those companies or representative organizations that minded the public opinion drastically reduced the size of the meetings or simply canceled them. Thus, as the industry was perceived as an extravagant and sumptuous business owing to moral hazards involving a few companies, the efficiency of meeting implementation became an issue for the industry. As part of the efforts to upgrade the efficiency of the implementation of such events, the industry notices the trend for convergence that consists in combining business meetings and incentives.
Growing Trend for Combining Business Meetings and Incentives

According to the survey on the industry status recently disclosed by SITE (the Site International Foundation), MPI (the Meeting Professionals International Foundation), CMI (Corporate Meetings & Incentives), and IRF (Incentive Research Foundation), the meetings industry’s leading consultative bodies, the trend for combining business meetings and incentives is accelerating bit by bit.

In order to investigate the current status of the market for business meetings and the market for incentives, SITE and MPI conducted a survey on 3,826 members registered to the databases of the two organizations, of whom 199 persons responded to the their questionnaire. 58% of all the respondents were business meeting planners, while 15% were incentive planners.

37% of the business meeting and incentive planners who responded to the survey said that they were planning other events in addition to their major events, suggesting the fusion of business meetings with incentives and the merger between the work categories of business meeting planners and incentive planners. Moreover, of the 37% of the respondents who said that they were performing the additional task of planning other types of events, those planners located in North America were in the large number with 74%, which was followed by 20% for those located in Europe, showing that the fusion of different types of events is currently centering on advanced countries for meetings such as North America and Europe.

When they checked how the expansion of the field of operation influenced different areas in planning a program as business meetings and incentive planners added the planning of the other types of events to their job descriptions, 72% of the respondents said that it had influence on ‘program design’, 55% on ‘procurement of services/destination’, 47% on ‘interactive elements, and 45% on ’method of measuring ROI (return on investment)’ and ‘ROO (return on objectives)’.

To the question asking how they would forecast the change to the trend for merging business meetings and incentives in the next year, 67% of the respondents said that the trend would further accelerate while 33% said that it would remain at the current level. Meanwhile, no one forecast the trend as decreasing. The survey showed that the operating meeting planners laid the greatest store on the upgrade of the efficiency for meetings and thought that the trend for fusion of events would therefore accelerate further.

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