The 2014 EIBTM Trends Watch Report was presented by Rob Davidson (Senior Lecturer in Events Managementat University of Greenwich and Managing Director at MICE Knowledge) and it showed that companies and organisations operating in the global Meetings and Events industry are more positive about future business opportunities.


If you didn’t have the chance to attend EIBTM 2014, here it is a summary:



In 2013, the overall business travel spending reached to US $1.1 trillion and it is set to increase by 6.9% and 8.6% in 2014 and 2015.

In 2014 it is expected a global economic growth but mainly in the emerging economies. In fact, the Eurozone is still in a period of stagnation and there is a risk of deflation that could undermine the investment decisions of many event planners and venue managers.  In Japan, the third biggest economy, the government has recently announced to be entered into recession.  The situation is different in the US where the ECB during the last 6 years has stimulated the US economy and made stronger the US$. On the other hand, slowing rates of growth were measured in the BRIC economies, with a major trade deal between China and Australia. The Russian economy is slowing as a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine which resulted in stronger trade links with China and the Asian markets.

According to Marketing Challenges International’s survey report , Trends in International Association Meetings from North America:

  • 91% of planners expect their budgets to increase or remain the same for their upcoming events
  • A significant percentage of association planners expressed willingness to repeat locations for their largest international events
  • Less concern for destination’s reputation, so emerging destinations have a role to play
  • During the research and planning stages, convention bureau and tourists boards are the crucial resource to planners
  • 83% of the survey respondents reported using CB services: Site visits (74%), Marketing materials (52%), Impartial advice (51%), Venue finding services (45%), Bid support (45%)
  • Budget changes from previous year (Decreased 12%, Increased 42%, Remained the same 46%)
  • Expected budget changes for the next international event (Decreased 9%, Increased 37%, remained the same 54%)
  • There is clear evidence of growth in the number of association meetings being held worldwide, as the total number of meetings in the UIA database for 2013 reached 408,798, a significance rise from the 392,588 meetings on the database for the previous year.
  • Use of event technology (e.g. app for meetings and events) is gaining popularity and 64% of organisers in a survey expressed that they are considering to create a mobile app for their events in 2014.  The number continues to see high growth year on year.



  • A higher percentage of organisers see the use of Return on Objective /Return on Investment for the Incentive travel events. Also, a higher section believes that business meetings should form part of motivational events
  • Two key surveys this year point to a resurgence in the use of incentive travel and upbeat expectations for the future of this sector.
  • SITE International Foundation’s most recent index Annual Survey demonstrated that optimism about the overall use of motivational travel experiences is at four year high
  • The Incentive Research Foundation Fall Pulse Survey, conducted in August this year: 2/3 of the respondents were positive or strongly positive about the impact of the economy on IT
  • Even though the length of incentive travel trips is generally not increasing, the number of programs decreasing in size and duration has steadily dropped.
  • The involvement of Procurement professionals in the buying of incentive travel: 52% did not expect this to change, 32% expected it to increase moderately, 12% expected it to increase significantly
  • More emphasis on ROI and work elements in IT
  • Destination trends for the future year (46% no change, 15% from domestic to international, 12% will pick locations closer to “home”, 10% from international to domestic, 5% from land to cruise, 5% from cruise to land)



  • Success in meetings and events follows economic performance: 92% of the Top 50 agencies in the UK are forecasting growth. Delegate numbers have seen an increase and people are starting to spend again.
  • Infrastructural investments: e.g. ICE Krakow
  • New conventions bureaus: e.g. Costa Brava Centre CB, Italia CB
  • Booming demand from meeting facilities in first-tier cities à rate increases



  • Positive mood in the meeting industry
  • Lead-times for large meetings getting slightly longer: from 2.4 to 2.6 years
  • Venue rates in the US have returned close to the previous record levels of 2007-2008. It is now a seller’s market in almost all destinations especially in high demand cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.
  • 42% of respondents reported that they would be holding meetings outside the US



  • A growing source of demand – and competition for established destinations
  • In China, “price” has become much more important as a factor taken into account by buyers when choosing destinations and venues
  • The Chinese government’s austerity drive, has had an impact on the market for the government meetings
  • But there is stronger potential in the corporate and association meetings segments
  • With China’s rapidly aging population, there are more medical and academic congresses
  • Plans for new convention bureaus, e.g. Hangzhou
  • New infrastructure for the conference industry, e.g. the MICE Cluster in Seoul



  • A robust intra-regional market for ME meetings, with Dubai emerging as the GCC country most widely chosen by meeting planners
  • ME planners are also using destinations well beyond their own region. Just under 70% of respondents reported that they had used European destinations for their events in the past 2 years
  • France, Spain, Austria, Italy and Turkey
  • Expansion of meeting facilities continued this year in the middle East / Africa region.
  • 628 new hotels under contract, totalling 147,454 rooms
  • Nigeria’s first dedicated international convention centre, the Calabar international Convention Centre



  • Top markets for revenue growth: US, China and the UK
  • Data and Analytics is leading source of growth
  • The US, India and China are expected to be the leading markets for the job growth
  • Also high expectations for Canada, the UK and Germany
  • American capital flowing into European ICT sector



  • The US and China account for over 55% of global car sales
  • China has been the world’s largest car market since 2010
  • Western car manufacturers (via joint ventures with Chinese state-owned maker) have a 60% share of the market


2013 growth rate 2014 growth rate
China +15.7 % +10%
US +7.5 % +4%
Europe -1.8 % +3%



  • Growing expenditure in R&D: (2004) US$ 88 billion, (2013) US$ 135 billion, (2018) US$ 149 billion (est.)
  • Strong pipelines for pharma companies
  • Expansion in the Chinese market
  • But western governments reducing expenditure on pharma products- although Obamacare will lead to a 5% increase in US demand



  • Confidence is back especially in the US
  • Even in Europe construction to grow on average by 1.8% a year from 2014-2016
  • But wide variations: Ireland : +9%, Poland: + 6%, Czech Rep and Spain – still below 2013 levels
  • The developing world and the Middle East account for more than half of global growth



  • Forecasters are practically unanimous in their predictions that 2015 will witness continuing growth in meetings, events and business travel generally
  • ADVITO  predicts that in some world regions – the US and parts of Europe – there will be more of a seller’s market, thanks to growing demand and little new supply.
  • GBTA Foundation Carson Wagonlit Travel Global Travel Price Outlook makes the following predictions:
    • Asia Pacific (Modest attendee cost and group size increase)
    • Europe, Middle East and Africa (Group sizes remaining flat, and slightly lower attendee costs)
    • Latin America (The highest expected per-attendee cost increases, and moderately increasing demand, due to high inflation)
    • North America (Modest increases in per-attendee spending and group size)
  • Risk Factors:
    • The Russia-Ukraine crisis and conflict in Syria
    • Eurozone deflation could provoke another recession
    • Local government and corporate debt in China could result in a hard landing for the Chinese economy, with consequences for the whole world
    • The Ebola virus outbreak might extend its reach and have an impact on international travel.


As a venue manager or a professional event organiser, if you are interested in the latest trends in the China Meetings and Events industry, don’t miss tomorrow our next article about “EIBTM China MICE Buyer Behaviour Report” presented by Rob Davidson at EIBTM 2014 or Bizvento’s experience and latest event technologies’ innovations at EIBTM 2014.


The author: Gianfranco

Gianfranco is Bizvento’s Marketing Director. He defines the company’s corporate and product messaging and leads the development of digital marketing activities. He gets inspiration from playing with his kids and cooking delicious Italian food for dinners with his friends. Visit or follow us on Twitter to learn more.