More EU Meetings on Smaller Budgets

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José Antonio Ruiz, Director, EMEA, American Express Meetings & Events

American Express research shows that meeting activity reflective of economic performance of individual European countries.  European meeting planners will need to focus on “doing more with less” in the year ahead and budgets are reflective of this.  In addition, meetings activity predictions from European survey respondents generally mirror the economic situation of individual countries in 2014.

Across Europe, minor activity increases are predicted in most meeting types in 2015 and while meetings budgets across Europe are predicted to experience small declines of 0.4%, this is an improvement over the 1.9% decline predicted for 2014.  However, the number of meeting attendees is expected to decline in the year ahead.

“The economies of individual European countries are in varied stages of recovery, which is reflected in the state of the meetings and events industries across the continent. While overall budget and individual meetings spend declines are predicted to be smaller in magnitude than in 2014, meeting owners in Europe are feeling the pressure to get creative and optimise their meetings budgets as much as possible.  They are expected to deliver the same quality of experience as in previous years, despite hotel and air rates continuing to rise,” said .

“For American Express Meetings & Events, the last twelve months have been about responding to the specific needs of our European customers and helping them to deliver meetings and events that align with their corporate priorities – whether this be helping them to understand how they can maximise their meeting spend, or how they can introduce technologies that enhance the overall meetings experience.  We look forward to working with our clients in the year ahead and continuing to add value and helping them to evolve their meetings programmes.”

The report also shows that hotel occupancy rates rise in many European countries from the combination of leisure, business and meetings demand, suppliers are predicting increased group hotel rates, and meeting survey respon­dents are no different as survey results point to increases for 2015.  At the same time there is expected to be further stiff competition amongst airlines within the major European countries is helping to mitigate the impact of higher demand, but air rates are still predicted to increase 1% in Europe.

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