CWT projects +8% growth for the meetings and events sector in 2020, but warns of gathering geopolitical and economic headwinds
CWT Meetings & Events (CWT M&E), the global meetings and events division of CWT, says the USD840 billion industry is poised for an +8% growth in 2020 despite looming geopolitical and economic headwinds, according to its 2020 Future Trends Report.
The report notes the protracted trade war between the US and China is creating “general uncertainty in the global business community” heading into 2020. Adding to the anxiety is the future of Brexit and “its cascading impact on the European Union”. Over in Asia, the protests in Hong Kong that started in June “have put businesses on alert,” as continued unrest in the city is bound to impact demand across the region. “Growing concern over the impact of climate change is also increasingly clouding business sentiment,” the report acknowledges.
Despite these issues, there are reasons to be upbeat, according to Kurt Ekert, president and CEO at CWT. “The need for live events is becoming more relevant than ever before,” he said, with up to 30% of marketing budgets expected to be spent on live events in 2020.
“Face-to-face meetings are critical to establishing connections between brands and their customers, and employees and their companies, especially during times of uncertainty. Knowing how to manage risks globally while putting together an authentic and measurable experience for all participants will be key for success in this space in the coming year and beyond,” he explains.
The Future Trends Report identifies key developments in the industry in 2020, including digitalisation, with event websites being created at a rapid pace—up 52% year-over-year—as more customers utilise these sites to drive increased engagement. Mobile devices are also adding new functionality with apps that go beyond setting travel itineraries to allowing organizers to create a higher degree of personalisation for attendees.
READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: CWT projects +8% growth for the meetings and events sector in 2020, but warns of gathering geopolitical and economic headwinds