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by Sarah J.F. Braley | May 03, 2016

The spring release of Meeting Professionals International's quarterly survey of senior-level meeting planners and suppliers shows the meetings industry enjoying comfortable business conditions. Of those surveyed, the large majority, 70 percent, predict favorable business conditions for the rest of the year. Almost 60 percent said their budgets will be rising over the next 12 months, with 28 percent expecting their budgets to be flat and 14 percent saying their budgets will decrease.

The respondents' biggest concern is the seller's market being enjoyed by hoteliers, as 32 percent cited this market condition as a top challenge. The need for "more valuable technology" was a top issue for 16 percent of those surveyed. Still, 38 percent said they have no plans to use virtual-reality tools, and only 8 percent said they definitely will use the technology.

Much like the IMEX Group's meeting professionals survey, where 35 percent said they would not use sharing-economy services for business other than ground-transportation companies like Uber and Lyft, the spring Meetings Outlook reports that 48 percent of respondents won't use such services, citing safety concerns.

In terms of attendance trends, 58 percent said the number of people attending their meetings in person is growing, and 57 percent said virtual attendance is on the rise.

The full spring Meetings Outlook report can be found here.