Planners optimistic about attendance levels, but ignoring long-term challenges

Planning and design /  / 
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

A third of meeting planners expect attendance levels at their big meetings to at least match pre-pandemic levels in 2023, according to new research by Northstar Meetings Group.

And in signs of an increasingly bullish market, almost two-thirds (65%) of those quizzed expected numbers to reach at least three-quarters of the numbers they had before 2020.

The survey, sponsored by Visit Orlando, was based on responses from 194 qualified meeting professionals involved in the production of events of 1,000 attendees or more.

Its aim was to identify what organisers of large business events need to do to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era as attendance levels at meetings continue to lag pre-pandemic figures.

Tellingly perhaps, 'size of audience' was not the leading metric used to determine the success of a meeting, with attendee satisfaction topping the list ahead of financial profitability.

The survey covers everything from event tech to sustainability and asks whether near-term tactical challenges pose a greater threat to the success of future events than long-term strategical ones.

The report’s authors note in conclusion: “Organisers are confident in the positioning of their events; attendance is recovering, and many planners already have implemented measures that they deem crucial to the success of their future gatherings. Challenges such as rising F&B costs and reduced availability are cyclical and likely manageable in the long term. Of greater concern to the industry’s bright future is whether long-term questions are truly being addressed.”

Download the full report here.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.


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