Key findings from the research highlighted that the average number of events organised by buyer/planner respondents increased to 25, compared to 20 last year. In addition to this, 44% of American buyers confirmed that they expect their volume of events to increase in the next 12 months and over 50% predict an increase in their attendance.
The research report, which was conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions IBTM Event Portfolio and PCMA, in association with The Right Solution, also identified that meeting budgets for the next twelve months were expected to increase on average by 5.2% compared to a 3.7% increase over the past twelve months which is a positive indicator for the industry going forward.
A further positive indicator identified in the research was identified in the broad range of events types organised by buyers in the Americas. The results also identified a 2% increase in Incentive Travel events (rising to 40%, compared to 44% in 2012) and a 6% increase in Exhibition events (rising to 50%, compared to 44% last year).
The research also confirmed that although the Americas would remain the key destination for U.S. meeting planners over the next 12 months, 50% of Buyer respondents who attended AIBTM, confirmed a direct interest in placing business in Europe and 40% confirmed an interest in Asia. UK, France and Germany were also identified as attracting significant numbers of events last year.
63% of respondents also predicted the use of new destinations for their events in the next 12 months with Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Antigua & Barbuda receiving the highest satisfaction ratings in terms of value delivered for money. Florida, California and New York were also identified as top states for volume of events.
The expected rise in the use of technology also features significantly in the research with 76% of planners predicting an increase in the use of new technology to shape event content and 73% confirming that they use social media to communicate with attendees before and during events. 47% of respondents also confirmed that they use smart phone Apps to provide event delegates with information.