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May 20, 2009
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HBAA members face up to the changing face of meetings market




Twitter, social networking and online immediacy are leading corporates to look at new ways of managing their marketing budgets, a fact that’s not only being acknowledged, but also embraced by HBAA members.

With event budgets under scrutiny and return on investment paramount, a new poll reveals that HBAA members are taking on board the demands of the corporate and the changing face of the meetings and events market. 

The poll of members and partners of the HBAA highlights that 93.8% of participants see new technology as positive while only 6.2% perceive it as negative. The respondents, whose collective buying power exceeds £1.4bn, recognize the increasing presence of webinars, video conferences and cyber events in the meetings procurement process.  Experiential events, too, are seeing a dramatic increase as corporate seek to get 'side by side' with their target audiences.   
 
Grassroots HBI managing director, Des Mclaughlin, agreed with the results of the poll, saying: "We have seen a shift in the way that meeting programmes are being purchased by procurement.  Webinars and webcasting are increasingly important to large organisations as they seek to minimise costs and maximise impact with their employees and clients.  However, there is still an implicit need for people to get together and this is where events are becoming far more experiential." 
 
Peter Ducker, HBAA’s executive director said: "As an association, we have seen how the understanding and use of cyber communication is more crucial than ever. These trends bring opportunities and challenges and we believe they are transforming our industry in a very positive way."


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