Members of Meeting Professionals International, Dallas, are a confident group. According to a cyber poll of 820 attendees during MPI’s 2002 World Education Conference, 90 percent believe that the $96.4 billion meeting industry will continue to recover as predicted in an earlier poll this year.

Another 78 percent said the industry will grow slowly back to normal (pre-9/11 levels), while 12 percent took an even more positive outlook, saying growth will be faster than predicted.

Even the recent bout of corporate scandal hasn’t dampened meeting planners’ outlook. Although a majority of respondants (72 percent) said the scandals have affected their confidence levels in executive-level leadership, investing in the stock market, and the overall economy, only 3 percent said they were less confident in their own company or job.

Other results:

  • When asked the most effective way to generate new business opportunities, 71 percent of 500 suppliers cited networking events and trade shows, which MPI says is an affirmation of the value of face-to-face meetings.

  • 94 percent of MPI members said they prefer to do business with other MPI members.

  • 27 percent of 386 planner members polled were looking for more information on industry technology tools. Alternatively, planner members indicated they are seeking knowledge on marketing their skill set to their organization's leadership (25 percent) and measuring ROI for events (25 percent).