by Michael J. Shapiro | November 29, 2017
The annual IBTM Trends Watch report was released Tuesday at IBTM World in Barcelona, Spain, highlighting a renewed resilience and confidence in the international meetings industry. Rob Davidson, managing director of MICE Knowledge, co-authored this year's report for IBTM with Alistair Turner, managing director of Eight PR and Marketing. The study, which is based on more than 25 data sources and interviews with industry leaders, presents a largely optimistic industry outlook, broken down across global regions and key industry sectors.
 
The optimism points to a more postive forecast despite the geopolitical trends that have clouded the outlook in recent years. "There's no getting away from the fact that there is still a period of uncertainty ahead," Davidson acknowledged, "with several evolving and new economic and geopolitical developments continuing to play out across the globe. However, our industry is approaching this proactively, continuing to 'take care of business' both literally and figuratively, which points to a very positive year ahead."
 
Industry leaders generally seem less rattled by instability around the world that, in last year's report, was seen as more of a threat. "It's essential that business-events professionals continue to discuss and debate the possible impacts of different scenarios in order that they can adapt and react in a considered manner," Turner pointed out. "As we head into 2018, the hesitancy of previous years has been replaced by renewed confidence, manifesting itself as a more responsible and positive industry that increasingly operates without borders."
 
The report, which is available here, examines economic trends by region and the effects they are most likely to produce. "Given that we're in a period of change and uncertainty," acknowledged IBTM portfolio director Kerry Prince, "this year more than ever our IBTM Trends Watch report is a useful tool for meetings and events professionals looking for a concise evaluation of the global events market and forecasting for 2018."