The Global Business Unit of American Express has declared the corporate meeting industry to be “back in business” for 2015.  The service provider conducts an extensive survey each year, releasing a detailed description of their findings in October.

According to a section of the company website reporting on the report, “activity in 2015 is predicted to grow slightly, with a strong focus on meeting higher expectations and achieving more measurable results”.

The 2015 Meetings Forecast is completed with data and input from conferences, interviews and surveys spread throughout the business and meeting industries worldwide.  The data is analyzed to help draw out potential meeting trends for next year.

Issa Jouaneh, Vice President and General Manager, American Express Meetings & Events says that “the last few years have given focus to meetings and events in a way that has driven a more disciplined approach around approvals processes, increased scrutiny on spend and a larger focus around accountability and expected outcomes for meetings”.  It appears that the belt-tightening and interest around compliance, global expansion and risk reduction have led to “elevate the visibility and strategic importance of meetings programs within companies”.

Some of the main takeaways from the report include:

  • an increased demand for meetings at airport properties and locations that require minimal travel for all invitees
  • moderate growth in the number of meetings focusing on training
  • small growth predicted for incentive and special event meetings

Overall, managing meeting costs will continue to be a key component of any planning efforts.  The entire report, which includes “some of the key tactics meeting planners are expected to use to reduce costs and improve program efficiency” can be found here.