Results of an online survey conducted by Meeting Professionals International found that, while meeting planners and suppliers experienced an immediate negative impact due to last month’s terrorist attacks in the United States, the majority of business lost short-term is due to meeting postponements, not cancellations.

According to an MPI press release, some of the survey highlights include:

  • 85 percent of respondents expected business to be impacted over the next six months, however all signs indicate face-to-face meetings will continue to occur.
  • In terms of total existing meeting commitments over the next six months:

-Nearly 50 percent of planners responding expect meeting postponement without relocation

-24 percent of planners responding made no meeting cancellations

-20 percent of planners responding indicated some meetings would occur via video or teleconferencing

-49 percent of planners responding expected to cancel business worth between $25,000 and $500,000

-39 percent of planners responding predict up to a 20 percent decrease in unconfirmed future meeting expenditures (Q4 2001 and beyond), however 24 percent expect no decrease at all

  • On the supplier side, over the next six months nearly half expect cancelled business totaling $100,000 or more; one-third expect deferral of major spending/investment; and 25 percent expect reduction in staff. However, in terms of total future meeting revenues (Q4 2001 and beyond), only 22 percent expect a decrease of more than 20 percent. One-third expect a 10 percent or less decrease in business with another one-third expecting between 10 and 20 percent. And, nearly 15 percent of suppliers responding expected no change or a slight revenue increase of up to 10 percent.

  • 42 percent of respondents expect no travel restrictions, with 29 percent anticipating restrictions and 24 percent uncertain. When asked about reasons for potential travel restrictions, just 19 percent of all respondents cited concerns about travel safety, with overall change in financial outlook defined as the driving factor by 40 percent of all respondents.

Results of this and future surveys conducted by MPI will be used to develop content for a forum slated for MPI’s Professional Education Conference-North America, Jan. 20 – 22, 2001 in Honolulu, Hawaii.