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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  January 18, 2011

Meeting Trends to Watch

Just when you thought it was safe, here’s another study about meetings and conventions.  Conducted by ConventionSouth magazine, this is a good snapshot into the minds of meeting planners, especially those who plan association conventions.  Another good sign:  67% of the respondents are senior people, with at least ten years in the biz.  This study provides much more relevant findings than the general NBTA (National Business Travel Association) and American Express.  (Which is why I didn’t report on these findings.)

The upshot:  most of them are in a holding pattern for 2011, with 86% expecting their world to stay the same or slightly improve.  A vast majority expect the number of meetings to increase or stay the same; ditto with attendance.

The response to this good news:  a significant number are slashing budgets anyway, especially in food and beverage.  Expect intense negotiations to continue on all fronts.  Other interesting findings we need to care about:

  • The perception issue is still with us, as 46% cite this concern for selecting destinations.  The perception of unnecessary lavishness will also impact speaker selections.  Celebrity and sports figure speakers will continue to fight this trend.  Anyone over $10,000 better bring their A-game content.
  • Another reason why content will continue to be king in 2011:  ROI (return on investment).  Planners report that they are still getting hounded to prove their value.  Meeting spend will also be a part of that equation, but also look for more sophisticated measurements coming up.
  • Buzzword for 2011:  value.  Three criteria will be used for this definition:  building relationships and networks, creating a positive emotional climate, and capturing attention.

See for yourself with this link to the study.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.