According to research conducted among meeting planners by Successful Meetings, 82 percent of respondents say their international meeting programs have stayed the same or increased in 2017, with about half saying terror threats or even President Trump’s politics are not having an impact on business.
Compared to 2016, 58 percent said their meeting budgets remained the same, while 25 percent had an increase. By a similar margin, 61 percent said they were planning the same number of international meetings in 2016 and 2017, while 21 percent were planning more.
Nearly 60 percent report cost as the major challenge to international meetings they were planning, most of which fell into the conference category (56 percent) with 40 percent logged as exhibitions or conventions. The travel time involved, language barriers, and security concerns were all roughly tied as the second most problematic aspect of managing an international event.
Canada and Mexico are the top destinations for planners (70 percent), while Europe is still in the mix for many events being planned (53 percent). There was little agreement between event planners on the top three factors influencing site selection, though the three considerations mentioned the most were security/safety (25 percent), and appeal of the destination and air costs, which were tied at 17 percent.
Industry officials hail the information gleaned from the survey as positive for an industry that has been rocked recently by safety concerns for event attendees, travel bans enforced against certain international communities, and laptop bans that complicate international travel for business travelers of all backgrounds.