AIPC 2023 Member Survey Results

25th Jun, 2024

Costa Rica Convention Center © AIPC

As every year, AIPC - in partnership with Access Intelligence - carries out a global survey of members, focusing on 6 key aspects, from industry performance to client behaviour.

Last year's report gave rise to 7 key ideas that were shared with its members during the AIPC Annual Conference, which took place in Luxembourg at the beginning of the summer. Ahead of the 2024 conference, which will take place in a few days' time in Heredia, Costa Rica, we've shared these insights with you:

  1. The recovery is stronger than expected. the average in-person attendance recovery for events held in 2023 compared to 2019 has been 86% globally, compared to 64% in 2022. This recovery has been much better than expected according to 32% of members, and better than expected by 40%. One-quarter of the membership said the recovery has proceeded just as expected, and only 3% said it has been worse than they thought during the depths of the pandemic.
  2. There is a clear confidence that the event and meetings industry will thrive over the next few years. A significant 85% of members feel very confident that the events and meetings industry will be healthy and growing over the next two to three years. This result suggests that most members do not expect a major recession, or that even if there is a recession, the industry’s rebound trajectory will still provide growth and expansion.
  3. There has been a shift regarding risks impacting business growth. The top five risks seen potentially impacting specific centre business are overall economic performance (61%), competition from other centres/regions (56%), air travel issues (52%), hotel availability and pricing (35%), and sustainability and environmental issues (27%). In 2022, the survey found that international conflict and air travel costs/disruptions were the biggest risks to the convention centres’ business. Besides war and other international conflicts, event and group re-booking and re-scheduling challenges had been rated the third top concern in 2022.
  4. Over half of members worldwide have raised their published rates for venue services and exhibition hall rental – and many other major strategic business changes have been made post-pandemic. These involved the creation of new services or lines of business (42%) or changes in their marketing focus (39%).
  5. This point concerns the cost side. It will not come as a surprise that inflation is a key area of concern. 75% of members worldwide are experiencing some level of inflation. And inflation is most pronounced in Europe, as 88% of European members reporting that they have seen major price increases continuing to impact their core budget areas related to venue management or event services-related costs. Worldwide, most inflation and increasing costs are in these areas: energy, gas, and electricity; staff compensation; food and beverage and related supplies and services; and other goods, materials and services.
  6. Staff recruitment and retention remain a challenge. 58% of members say recruiting and retaining suitable employees is extremely/very challenging, down only slightly from 60% of members who said this in 2022. Labor markets are tight in many parts of the world and member centres are suffering the effects. Based on member feedback, some of the responses to the challenging labour market include streamlining the recruitment and onboarding process, often using technology, increasing salaries, offering flexible schedules, enhanced training, and working with colleges and universities to promote job opportunities.
  7. Convention centres are changing their sales and marketing strategies and practices. These involve stronger partnership, strengthening sales teams, flexible pricing and a greater focus on sustainability. In conclusion, the AIPC members are confident about the future and are adapting on many fronts to comply with a changing business environment, making convention centres great places to work.

Other Articles

About Us

Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.