State of the Meetings Industry: Q and A with Missy J

Missy JPost written by Missy Johnson, Principal, MJMeetings, LLC | Meetings Consultant | Gourmet Food & Wine Enthusiast | Sports Fan

I’ve had several questions rolling around in my head lately covering a wide range of topics related to the state of our industry.

I wanted to write them down to get them out of my head and it turned into a blog post! I hope you enjoy my thoughts…and I’d love to hear from you if you have something to add.

Q: What are the most timely and relevant issues facing meeting planners today? What is most concerning?

A: Meeting Planners are faced with many critical issues with each event.

But today’s hot topics center around meeting design and strategy to match organizational missions, shorter planning windows, budget constraints, travel restrictions and understanding and integrating emerging technologies.

Sounds like a lot to deal with, right? It is and that’s the main reason that the role of meeting planner is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful professions around.

Q: How much longer before we swing away from this deep seller’s market? How will meeting budgets continue to keep pace?

A: According to many things I’ve read in the trade publications lately, the meetings industry is projected for a continuation of the seller’s market at least through 2018 which will further pressure planner’s budgets.

Continued growth in many segments drives a healthy market leading to increased employment, overall favorable and growing business conditions and increased attendance at both live and virtual events. Good news in many ways but it also adds near-term challenges for planners with no real end in sight.

Q: What are some of the biggest areas of change that the meetings industry will face in the next year?

A: When the global economy is doing well, market conditions are more favorable for our industry. This results in infrastructure investments and budget increases making live events more significant.

On the other hand, when economic development is lagging, meeting planners must prove resilient and find creative ways to conduct business in the face of challenges like smaller budgets, shorter lead times and market demand. If our economy changes drastically one way or the other, meeting planners will need to adapt quickly and understand how these changes affect the big picture of meetings and events.

questionTechnology is another issue that’s transforming our industry. Planners have to be experts at all the new technologies that can enhance or alter live-streaming, audience engagement and behind-the-scenes logistics.

Now, planners have to carve out time to fully understand the opportunities within their events that technology can enhance, learn all of the best options available to address it and then implement the tech while keeping risk mitigation in mind too.

Q: Are we doing enough to promote our industry and support those of us who work within it, especially in the face of a dived political landscape and national policies that impact our industry?

A: A few years ago, our industry organizations banded together to form and support the Meetings Mean Business coalition to be a united voice about the value of meetings, conventions, exhibitions, trade shows and other travel related face-to-face events.

Each year the coalition works to advocate for our industry through congressional lobbying efforts to educate our political leaders on the value of our industry.

They also organize industry professionals around the globe who rally each year around the Global Meetings Industry Day – a campaign that raises awareness about the value of face-to-face events in all communities around the world.

All these efforts aside, our industry is still facing enormous challenges and is attacked almost daily by divisive and challenging travel bans and the tragic increase in terror attacks where small and large groups of people gather together. We need to work as a community of professionals to ensure our meetings and events can continue to happen in the face of these challenges.

Thanks for taking the time to read and share this post! Questions about your next event? Just email or call me at at 913.645.6649 to get the conversation started.

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