It’s looking good for meetings in 2023, at least according to the latest (December 2022) poll conducted by Northstar Meetings Group and Cvent. Overall, the semi-monthly survey, which included more than 400 meeting planners nationwide, found that optimism for the coming year is increasing as more in-person events are expected. COVID concerns are ticking downward and budgets are expected to at least match or exceed cost increases. In fact, 41 percent of those surveyed mentioned that they are booking new events for the upcoming months, and 67 percent expect to produce more meetings (up from 59 percent in the previous poll in September/October 2022).
Hybrid and Zoom Meetings?
Another positive note is that the hybrid/virtual meetings trend seems to have peaked, with 47 percent saying they will produce none in 2023, while 39 percent say it will only represent about 50 percent or fewer of their events. Just 3 percent say they will only host hybrid or online meetings.
The question about concern over the lack of hotel staffing had been on the rise since January 2022, but ticked down slightly for the first time in the December poll.
Inflation and Spending
It seems that most planners have made peace with the skyrocketing costs of everything, and while they cite cost-cutting as an important concern, most planners (61 percent) indicate that they are increasing or matching their budgets in 2023.
Attendance Is Still an Issue
The one area that is still dogging event planners is attendance. Fewer than one-third of respondents expect to have more attendance at their events in 2023 compared to last year. Based on a previous 2022 survey, only 10 percent indicated that annual attendance was 90 percent or greater than pre-pandemic levels.
If you are a meeting planner or work with one who would be interested in participating, Northstar and Cvent are collecting data for its next survey now.