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June 3, 2008

Turmoil in financial markets has little impact on global meetings and events industry

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has revealed the results of its global survey into the impact on industry confidence of the crisis sweeping through financial markets.

Over a quarter of association’s 850 members responded, providing the most current overview of how the meetings industry is coping, and how industry leaders predict they will be affected in future.

Fewer than 6% of respondents have suffered a significant downturn as a result of the economic environment, while 60% report no impact whatsoever.


Sirk: Optimism about personal business performance is
balanced by a more pessimistic perception of how
others in the industry are likely to be affected

However, members are more downbeat about the prospects for the rest of the year, with only 44% believing there will be no negative impact because of these factors. Despite this, a surprisingly large figure of 42% are expecting their company’s 2008 performance to be better than 2007, a year which previous ICCA surveys have indicated was a record breaker in all regions of the world.

Fewer than one third think this year will be weaker than 2007.

Only 12% of respondents are planning to cut their marketing budgets during the rest of 2008, while over three-quarters indicate that they will definitely not be making cuts. The final question of the survey delivered results that call this optimism into question. Asked what impact the current financial crisis will have on the meetings industry in general, only 6% felt there would be no significant impact at all.

Just over half felt there will be significant negative impact but restricted to certain regions, over one third felt there would be significant short-term global impact, while 7% felt there is likely to be significant global impact lasting longer than 18 months.

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “It would seem that optimism about personal business performance is balanced by a far more pessimistic perception of how others in the industry are likely to be affected. There is still a great deal of uncertainty in the marketplace, but it is clear that the financial turmoil has not yet been translated into any noticeable cutbacks amongst clients.

“This reinforces other anecdotal feedback we are obtaining from meeting planners which indicates that international meetings are becoming ever more important to companies and associations alike, and they are more reluctant to cut events which have become ‘mission critical’ to achieve their business objectives. If this is so, it will help our industry to weather any future economic downturn,” he concluded.


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