The meeting industry can look forward to another boom year, according to the results of the 1999 Meetings Outlook Survey, conducted by the American Society of Association Executives, Washington, D.C., and Meeting Professionals International in Dallas.
The 300 respondents included 150 corporate and 150 association planners--a big jump from last year's 100 respondents. The availability of meeting space now ranks as a top concern for planners, a change from the early 1990s, when attendance was a primary concern.
What association planners predict:
* More meetings: Twenty-six percent of association planners expect to hold more meetings in 1999 than they did in 1998. Fifteen percent said they will hold more regional meetings, 14 percent plan to hold more international meetings, and 13 percent will hold more national meetings.
* Going global: Seventy-one percent expect to hold meetings internationally. While England, Canada, and Mexico are the most popular destinations, respondents (both corporate and association) also are exploring other destinations for the first time, such as Russia, Israel, Germany, Hong Kong, Denmark, and Australia.
* Cyber future: When asked to rank the most significant changes the industry will face in the next two years, 70 percent cited technology (such as videoconferencing, online registration, and online site selection). Sixty-one percent of association planners already use the Internet and Web sites to extend the learning experience beyond the on-site conference.