Attendance at internationalin 2010 is mostly flat or up, according to a survey conducted by the International Congress and Convention Association and the U.K-based IMEX Group. However, revenues from exhibitors and sponsors are on the decline, with 44 percent of respondents reporting a reduction in income from those two sources.
Thirty percent of the international associations surveyed said that their attendance was up compared to last year, while 48 percent said it was flat. Just 22 percent said it was down. Of the group that reported lower attendance, 12 percent said it was down slightly while approximately 10 percent said it was down significantly.
Only 18 percent of respondents reported higher revenue from sponsors and exhibitions than in previous years (down from 20 percent in a survey done four months ago), while 38 percent reported no change.
The economic pressures are making many associations uncertain about attendance growth in 2011. About 48 percent expect lower attendance in 2011 than in 2010, while the rest expect an increase or no change.
"Whilst there's no doubt that international association meetings have been the star performance sector over the last year, they're feeling the pressure of the continued economic turbulence, especially as corporate sponsorship budgets continue to be cut,” said Martin Sirk, chief executive officer at ICCA, based in, Amsterdam. “The picture is extremely mixed, however, and we're hearing that many regional (European or Asia-Pacific) events are at record levels, whilst some world events are struggling to attract attendance," added Sirk, in a press release.
In other ICCA news, Arnaldo Nardone, director of marketing and conventions, Radisson Hotel, Montevideo, Uruguay, was elected as the new ICCA president for a two-year term at the ICCA Congress, which took place October 23-27 in Hyderabad, India.