Our 15th Annual Market Report weighs in on the Canadian meetings industry – a sizeable percentage of respondents expect the number of meetings and events they plan in Canada this year to increase. By Don Douloff, March 14, 2011
Expect to plan more Canadian meetings in 2011
This year marks our 15th annual benchmarking Market Report study for the Canadian meetings and incentive travel industry, the most comprehensive annual survey ‘taking the pulse’ of this country’s planners. This year’s results aggregate the data from the corporate, third party and not-for-profit/association categories.
And throughout, we’ve flagged nine noteworthy industry trends (numbered for easy reference).
The good news is that a large percentage of respondents expect the number of meetings and events they plan in Canada this year to increase, with a smaller percentage also expecting increased meetings activity internationally and in the U.S.
Indeed, almost one-third of planners surveyed (28 per cent) expect to plan more Canadian events in 2011. Only 6 per cent predict they will plan fewer events north of the 49th Parallel in 2011, while 60 per cent indicate that the number of Canadian meetings they expect to plan this year will stay the same.
For U.S. meetings, 11 per cent forecast an increase; 10 per cent, a decrease; 37 per cent expect no change.
Internationally, the numbers echo the U.S. figures, with 9 per cent of those surveyed expecting to plan more, 7 per cent expecting to plan fewer and 36 per cent expecting the number to remain fl at.
Not surprisingly, planners are sticking close to home, with 91 per cent expecting to hold their 2011 meetings in Canada, 24 per cent targeting the U.S. and 17 per cent venturing outside North America.
In addition, respondents are forecasting a total, average, per-planner spend of $886,000 in the coming year, a 6-per-cent increase over their reported actual 2010 annual spend of $837,000.
Associations and government continue to lead the growth in spend. According to our survey, association/ not-for-profit planners predict a 16-per-cent increase in average total spend in 2011 (vs. their actual 2010 spend), with third-party planners predicting 7-per-cent growth in spend over their 2010 actuals.
Another trend: Planners are using technology for their attendee marketing. In 2010, 36 per cent used social media, up from 24 per cent in 2009. And the numbers demonstrate that it’s the more-experienced planners who are using these tools.
To wit: Last year, among planners with 21-plus years of experience, 42 per cent employed social media, while 41 per cent of respondents with 16-to-20-years experience use it. As for other forms of attendee marketing, 83 per cent of respondents use e-mail, 75 per cent use websites/microsites and 12 per cent use blogs/online forums. Technology is here to stay!
Planners continue to embrace green meetings, as 45 per cent of those surveyed said they’d either planned (or tried to plan) a green meeting or event, or bought carbon o sets for a meeting/conference.
Among that group, 61 per cent reported that green conferences/events cost more than ‘regular’ ones.
Translation: eco-friendly isn’t wallet-friendly — and who’s willing to pay the tab?
Market Report Grand Prize
Congratulations to Carole Brault, of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, who’s won the Market Report grand prize.
Here’s what she’s won: Two nights stay, including breakfast and a dinner for two, at Le Westin Montreal, and the opportunity to dine in the Gazette restaurant. Also included is a $250 AMEX gift card.