by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 28, 2015
The Summer 2015 Meetings Outlook, Meeting Professionals International's quarterly report, shows industry professionals are bullish on the future, with 72 percent of 363 respondents are predicting better business conditions over the next year, and 18 percent predicting no change. A year ago, 65 precent of the organization's panel of high-level respondents reflected that optimism, yet 12 percent predicted worsening business conditions.

Asked to rank which factors are the most important for driving attendance at meetings, the study's participants said program content was number one, followed by the timing/date of the event, its affordability, the destination's appeal, the current economy, employer policy and access to flights to the destination.

Sixty-two percent of respondents predict live attendance will increase in the next year, up from 53 percent a year ago. Interestingly, 57 percent of anticipate an increase in virtual attendance at meetings, down from 68 percent.

Many planners are finding out the ages of their attendees and creating appropriate communications specific to the generations. Of the sample, 40 percent said their communications are tailored to specific age groups for every event, while 25 percent tailor event marketing in a limited way for every event, big and small. Another 14 percent do so for major events only. Seventeen percent do not create generation-specific communications.

MPI's full report will be released next week and will be available on MPI's website on Aug. 11.