In the current edition of its new quarterly Meetings Outlook report, Meeting Professionals International asked members how they are managing rapid tech innovation.

Twenty-eight percent said they are “employing people with relevant knowledge and skills” and 53 percent said they educate themselves on new technology to stay current. If you aren’t actively in that 53 percent, you better watch out for the new hires of the 28 percent. They might just tweet you out of a job.

Or maybe this is the time for you to help your organization with its approach to social media. When MPI asked respondents “what best describes your social media strategy,” only one-quarter reported that they follow a documented social media strategy while 16 percent said they do not have a social media strategy.

It would have been interesting if only those two answers were given as possible responses to the question. But most respondents chose the vague answer “We adapt to new options and techniques” (48 percent) or the even more vague “We rely on informal communications and discovery in the marketplace” (11 percent).

Employment on the Rise
The big change that many meeting professionals have been waiting for may happen in 2014: Hiring is on the rise. One-quarter of Meetings Outlook respondents expect an increase in full-time employment, one-third expect an increase in part-time employment, and 39 percent expect an increase in contract employment at their organizations.

There were other positive notes in the report as well, including that two-thirds of respondents expect meeting attendance to increase in 2014 (and most of the rest say it’ll be flat). Also, 72 percent of respondents expect better economic conditions in the coming year against only 8 percent who expect economic conditions to worsen.

In the category of old news, only three percent of respondents are looking at virtual meetings to completely replace face-to-face meetings. And finally, meeting planning lead times continue to vary, with one-quarter reporting longer lead times, 29 percent reporting no change, and 46 percent reporting shorter lead times.

The quarterly Meetings Outlook replaces the bi-monthly Business Barometer previously published by MPI. For each Meetings Outlook report, research firm Association Insights surveys 5,000 MPI members, including 700 senior meeting professionals on MPI’s Business Research Panel. The organization did not reveal how many of these survey recipients responded to the current survey.

Find another writeup of the survey results at the MPI Web site.