by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 13, 2015

Positive economic trends combined with the global expansion of companies will drive continued growth for the global meetings industry in 2016, according to the American Express Meetings & Events 2016 Global Meetings Forecast. Among the key findings of the report, North America will increase all meeting types, with training and internal meetings expected to experience strong growth and rise more than any other meeting type next year. As the number of meetings is predicted to increase, attendee levels in North America also are expected to grow.

As a result of recent economic gains, companies are renewing their focus on employee-centric gatherings by planning a greater number of incentive meetings and special events next year; however, planners also are implementing processes to ensure the right audiences are in attendance to further maximize the returns on the meetings investments and increase compliance.

While overall program spend is expected to rise, marking the largest forecasted spend increase in three years, budgets remain tightly controlled as meeting planners increase their spend per attendee, where justified.

Below are snapshots of the key 2016 predictions (compared with the 2015 survey), based on a survey of meeting professionals in each global region. Click on the chart to see it larger.






The 2016 Meetings Forecast is based on a number of sources, including proprietary American Express Meetings & Events data sources, licensed third-party data and industry information, as well as interviews with industry leaders. Information and data was gathered from actual and planned meetings activity of American Express Meetings & Events globally, along with surveys of planners and hoteliers.