by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2008

Results from the 2008 Meetings Market Report, a comprehensive analysis of meetings held in 2007, show the corporate sector continues to be healthy, despite a small 5 percent drop in expenditures compared with the numbers gathered two years ago. More than $30 billion was spent on 1,080,400 meetings that were attended by more than 84 million people.

Dollars explained

Corporations each spent an average of $543,900 on meetings in 2007, up about 1.5 percent from 2005. Breaking this average down, 21 percent of the respondents said their organizations paid more than $1 million on off-premises meetings, with 39 percent saying their companies spent between $150,000 and $1 million. Still, 40 percent said their firms paid less than $150,000 for all meetings in 2007.


Analyzing where events took place, downtown properties once again hosted the largest share of meetings, garnering 39 percent of corporations’ annual expenditures in 2007. Airport hotels came in second, with 19 percent of the expenditures, followed by suburban hotels (12 percent), suite hotels (8 percent) and resort hotels excluding golf resorts (7 percent). This is a slightly different picture than in 2005, when the top five were led by downtown hotels (36 percent), followed by resorts (21 percent), suburban properties (13 percent), golf resorts (8 percent) and airport hotels (7 percent).

The results also show corporations spent 88 percent of their meeting dollars on domestic meetings and 12 percent on foreign/offshore meetings.

The gatherings

Overall, the corporate respondents arranged an average of 19.4 events last year, up from 17.9 in 2005. These meetings were attended by an average of 78 people, down from 150 two years earlier, and the events lasted 2.7 days, up slightly from 2.6 in 2005. For details on the types of meetings planned, see the chart, “On the Agenda,” below.


The corporate planners surveyed indicated their lead time was an average of six months from the start of the planning process until the facility selection, and about a year from the start of the planning process until the event took place. Fifteen percent of the sample said their lead time had increased, 57 percent said it was unchanged and 28 percent said the lead time had shrunk.

More than half (53 percent) of the corporate planners worked on trade shows in 2007, virtually unchanged from the 52 percent reported two years ago. They planned an average of 9.1 such events (up from 8.1 in 2005), attracting an average of 1,210 attendees (down from 1,450 in 2005). The 263,100 trade shows held in 2007 lasted an average of 3.3 days.