by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | October 15, 2014
The recently released American Express Meetings & Events 2015 Global Meetings Forecast predicts that meetings will continue to play a critical role in the fundamentals of business. The findings were based on a comprehensive survey and review of of events data with meeting planners, buyers and hotel suppliers around the world. Among the findings, meeting planners expect to utilize nontraditional meetings facilities and implement virtual technology. In addition meeting budgets are expected to remain on the positive side, either through increases or by limiting any further decline. In North America, training meetings led the pack in terms of growth in the number of meetings, while incentives and special events lasted the longest, followed by conferences. In Europe, the survey predicts a continuation of tight meeting budgets, as well as a slight decline in the number of attendees in nearly all meeting types. In Asia, 85 percent of meetings and events are expected to take place in large cities in 2015, with mainland China enjoying the greatest demand and the greatest increase in the number of meetings. The forecast also revealed that for 2014, Chicago ranked as the number-one meeting destination in North America, followed by Orlando. In Europe, London took the top spot, followed by Paris; in Asia Pacific, Singapore was the leading destination, followed by Shanghai, China. In Central and South America, Brazil's Rio de Janiero and Mexico's Riviera Maya in Cancún took the top two spots. The entire survey is available for download here.