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Meeting professionals: sentiment at lowest level since crash

Meeting professionals are feeling less optimistic about the future, a new report shows.

MPI’s quarterly Outlook Survey for November 2019 shows positive sentiment at its lowest levels since before the 2008 financial crisis as uncertainty about the future shapes thinking.

Only 45% of meeting professionals responding to the survey predicted positive growth for the next 12 months, the first time this figure has dropped below 50 per cent in seven years.

At the start of the year 66% of those surveyed were confident about future trading conditions.

For the second quarter in a row, a third of respondees (33%) predicted negative conditions going forward, a significant drop from the first three month of the year when the figure stood at 17%.

Jessie States, Director MPI Academy, said: “It’s important to stress the positives. The meetings industry is continuing to grow at a healthy pace, but the signs are less positive than before.

“This is significant because the meetings and events industry can be a useful predictor for the wider economy as organisations cut back on their meeting budgets during more difficult times.”

The report also shows that ethical issues around sustainability, the treatment of immigrants etc, are increasingly taken into consideration when meeting planners choose where to host their events.

Elsewhere responses indicated that meetings were getting shorter, more frequent and more niche, but audiences were getting bigger.