Top Companies Weigh In At Our Global Leadership Symposium

Last month I posted a few items about StarCite's Global Leadership Symposium held in Phoenix, Arizona, which attracted a great deal of execs from our client base and partners. With clients large and small coming together from a broad base of industries, we thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to issue a survey and really gain perspective as to what today’s leading companies are seeing in the meetings industry.

The survey, which 28 of our top clients weighed in on, had some interesting findings about the way companies are approaching meetings management amidst the current economic climate. Take a look:

  • 75% of respondents indicated they will plan/spend on equal or more meetings in second half ’09 compared to first half ’09
  • Over 70% of respondents said that meeting closer to home office locations (thereby reducing travel costs) was one of the top three tactics they’ve employed most in order to reduce meeting costs amidst the recession
  • 43% of respondents indicated that public/government backlash regarding corporate meetings has had some effect on planning upcoming meetings, making them somewhat sensitive to the possible public perception of their events, while only 11% claim it has no effect at all on their planning
  • 75% of respondents have made their meetings policy more strict over the past 12 months 

It doesn’t come as a surprise that companies are finding it necessary to take precautions in the current environment, such as moving meetings closer to headquarters and employing stricter policies. Other top tactics identified by respondents to reduce meeting costs were conducting smaller meetings with fewer attendees and moving meetings to second tier or less expensive destinations.

It is encouraging, however, to see that a great majority of companies plan to spend the same or even more on meetings during the second half of the year. While public/government backlash is still very much on the minds of planners, and, as I have said before, many of the meetings reforms are here to stay -- it’s good to see that we may be close to turning the corner and getting back to business through meetings. And if the “green shoots” of today’s economy start to bloom, we might see this turnaround happening even faster in the meetings business than many predict. 

Kevin Iwamoto is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite. This post is syndicated from his blog, Strategic Meetings Management.