Global meetings and events spend is to remain flat next year, as business travel continues to be affected by political and economic uncertainty.

According to the sixth annual global and meetings forecast from American Express M&E, spend will be similar to 2016, but overall activity, including number of meetings or number of attendees per meeting, may see a decline.

The study showed that throughout Europe, the focus on strategically managing meetings has risen in importance within organisations, especially as they allow more flexibility in local countries to match local culture and compliant business practices.

“Brexit and concerns over terrorism have also created a sense of caution across the region,” the report said.

Across North America, organisations continue their global expansion efforts through organisational growth, as well as M&A. This type of activity increases the need for additional training and internal meetings. Respondents predict meeting spend will be flat with less than 1 per cent change in budget overall. The study said this maybe influenced by the uncertainty associated with the upcoming presidential election.

Amex M&E said it remains optimistic about activity in the Asia Pacific region, with an increased focus on managing meetings spend that might be fuelling increased activity. Compliance also appears o be a significant driver of the increased discipline.

Focus Snapshot 

Survey Highlights: Regional Meetings Professional Predictions


North America


Asia Pacific

Central/South America

Group Hotel Rates





Group Air Rates





Overall meeting spend within organization





Top 5 Meetings Destinations

  1.    Orlando
  2.    Chicago
  3.    Las Vegas
  4.    Atlanta
  5.    San Diego

(Source: Cvent, 2016, within the U.S.)



 (Source: Cvent, 2016, within Europe)

  1.    Singapore
  2.    Sydney
  3.    Kuala Lumpur
  4.    Bangkok
  5.    Hong Kong

(Source: Cvent, 2016, within the APAC)

1. Rio de Janeiro

2. Riviera Maya/ Cancun

3. Panama City

4. Sao Paulo

5. Mexico City

The annual forecast covers 2017 global meeting activity and trends, as well as additional commentary by region across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Central/South America.

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