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Frost & Sullivan: Technology Key in Transforming Meetings and Events

November 25, 2013 MICE No Comments Email Email

New research from Frost & Sullivan into the meetings and events industry identifies meetings technology — including booking management software, mobile applications (apps) and other support mechanisms in the planning process — as key opportunities for developing engaging and cost-effective events. 

The research quantifies the significance of the meetings and events industry and explores the role of new technology and how it can be used to improve ROI.

Healthy and Dynamic Meetings and Events Industry

Using quantitative research methods and direct input from almost 14,000 industry participants, Frost & Sullivan values the global meetings and events industry at $565 billion in 2012.  This figure represents 5 million meetings and more than 500 million attendees worldwide.Cordato

Spending on meetings and events by businesses, as a proportion of their overall revenue, is estimated at slightly more than 1 percent. With the Global 2000’s revenue of approximately $36 trillion, this means the world’s largest companies cumulatively spend $396 billion on meetings and events per year alone.  Associations, mid-sized companies and other organizations comprise the remainder of the $565 billion in meetings and events spend.

Technology is the Key to ROI for Meeting Planners

The research found meeting planners are still relying mainly on manual channels to plan and manage meetings across companies and organizations of all sizes. Those embracing technology are realizing exceptional benefits.  For planners who have implemented event management software, outcomes include:

  • Attendance increases by 20 percent
  • Productivity increases by 27 percent
  • Response time to requests for proposals (RFPs) increases by 22 percent
  • Booking costs decrease by 15 percent

Mobile technology is another hot growth technology in the industry, though currently in the nascent stage with only about 5 percent of meeting planners saying that they always use a mobile app for an event.  For those using mobile apps, the benefits present a compelling early case study.  Findings include:

  • Attendance engagement increases by 33 percent
  • Sponsorship sales increase by 13 percent
  • Printing costs decrease by 7 percent

“The meetings and events industry is enormous and impacts nearly every company and organization at some point in a given year, but to date has not been viewed holistically,” said Frost & Sullivan Business and Financial Services Senior Consultant Debbie Wong.  “There is significant pressure to adopt technology in the meeting planning process, but there’s also confusion among meeting planners who are just beginning to make the leap from using entrenched inefficient manual processes to highly effective technology-based practices.  Clearly where technology is implemented, there are notable benefits. We hope with this new research, we can help more professionals in the industry take advantage of the newest tools and practices to plan high-ROI events.”

Research Findings and Best Practices Webinar Details

Frost & Sullivan will host the webinar, “Beyond the Horizon: A Look at How Technology Is Changing the Events Industry,” at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 that will cover the research and discuss best practices.  Speakers will feature Frost & Sullivan research lead Debbie Wong, meeting planners Cindy Weston from WellPoint, Inc. and Katie Booth from Eleka, Inc, group meetings expert Christie Hicks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and meetings technology veteran Chuck Goorah from Cvent, Inc. Visit the webinar’s main page ( to learn more about this complimentary event, or click here to register.

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