The eleventh edition of the annual report “2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast” has just been published by American Express Meetings & Events. And we have to admit that its findings are rather encouraging. At least, they set a course, a light at the end of the tunnel for all the professionals of the sector, who are impatiently waiting for the return of more consequent volumes of activity.

To get a better idea of what the coming months hold for the meetings & events sector, the specialist division of TMC surveyed some 500 professionals over the period June and July 2021. This is a representative panel, as it brings together…

The eleventh edition of the annual report “2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast” has just been published by American Express Meetings & Events. And it has to be said that the findings are rather encouraging. At least, they set a course, a light at the end of the tunnel for all the professionals of the sector, who are impatiently waiting for the return of more consequent volumes of activity.

To get a better idea of what the coming months hold for the meetings & events sector, the specialist division of TMC surveyed some 500 professionals over the period June and July 2021. This is a representative panel, as it includes companies, associations, buyers and suppliers, and covers a geographical area of 37 countries. This global approach makes it possible to distinguish different dynamics according to the regions, even if the overall trend is rather positive insofar as two thirds of the respondents (67%) believe that face-to-face meetings will return to their pre-pandemic level within one to two years, with an equivalent proportion (64%) anticipating an increase in budgets.

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“Cautious optimism” in Europe

The European market is marked by ” cautious optimism “, according to American Express Meetings & Events. The Old Continent has the worst confidence score of the four markets surveyed, with 59% of respondents showing a level of optimism of at least eight out of ten. However, European professionals are clearly determined to return to face-to-face meetings: almost half of European events (48%) are expected to be held face-to-face and only face-to-face next year. Only the North American market is doing better (54%). Nevertheless, we will still have to be patient to see these events gather as many participants as before: 86% of respondents say they are “convinced that the number of participants for face-to-face events will return to pre-pandemic levels within five years”.

A particularly enthusiastic Americas

This caution in the European market contrasts with the enthusiasm – or at least the optimism – that American Express Meetings & Events has observed across the Atlantic. Three quarters of those surveyed (74%) gave an optimism score of at least 8 out of 10 in the 2022 Global Meetings and Events Forecast. “North American meetings and events professionals are very optimistic about a recovery in 2022,” the report’s authors note. As early asLast summer, three out of ten professionals (31%) said they had already resumed face-to-face meetings and events. This trend is unlikely to change with the reopening of the United States on 8 November, even if the most optimistic respondents are from South and Central America. No less than 87% of those surveyed were at least 8 out of 10 optimistic, and 82% of them described good or even excellent career options. If the region’s professionals are to be believed, event gauges should quickly rise again. Indeed, 81% of respondents expect the number of face-to-face attendees to return to pre-pandemic levels within one to two years, the fastest recovery of the four markets surveyed by American Express Meetings & Events.

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Finally, in the Asia Pacific region, the report found that the industry is ” fairly positive about the health of the industry in 2022,” with 64% of respondents indicating a level of optimism of at least 8 points. A large majority (81%) believe that events in 2022 will include a face-to-face component.

we know that the recovery will not be easy and we cannot achieve it by doing what we have done in the past

While we are all excited to see the demand for meetings and events increase, we know that the recovery will not be easy and we will not be able to achieve it by replicating what we have done in the past,” warns Gerardo Tejado, Senior Vice President and General Manager of American Express Meetings and Events. ” Looking ahead to 2022, we expect that the optimism, ingenuity and innovation we have seen in the industry over the past two years will lead to a new era of thoughtful, technology-driven and socially responsible M&E strategies,” continues Gerardo Tejado.