Confidence Replaces Caution: Meetings & Events

By Jim Obermeyer

Results from the latest IMEX Global Insights Report suggests that optimism is high for exhibitions, events and meetings in 2011.  Surveying a panel of senior meetings industry and corporate marketing professionals about their views for the year ahead, the results of the report point towards a more positive outlook for 2011, with the number of events and their associated budgets expected to rise.

Overall, respondents expect 2011 budgets to rise.  Eighteen percent believe it will be a significant increase and 39 percent anticipate a slight increase.  Twenty-four percent think budgets will remain the same while 18 percent believe they will be reduced.  This compares to last year’s report, where over 60% felt budgets would decrease in 2010.

With regard to the number of events, a full 58 percent felt the number would rise, 37 percent expect volumes to remain the same and only 5 percent expected a decrease.

Considering the marked increase we saw in attendance at the October, 2010 NBAA show in Atlanta over the 2009 show in Orlando, could this mean an even better show this coming year in Las Vegas?  While the mood at last year’s show seemed cautiously optimistic about 2011, many felt growth would not come until 2012.

Just as business aviation is vitally important for the national economy, the NBAA show is critical to this industry.  Let’s hope that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas – but impacts global business aviation in a positive way.

Jim Obermeyer has been in the tradeshow industry 29 years, both as a corporate trade show manager and exhibit house executive.  He is a partner in the trade show and event marketing firm Reveal.  He can be reached at

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