OCT 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 10 of 67

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 ²ConventionSouth ² w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 National Economic Backdrop So how do the projections of the 2018 survey respondents stack up against recent economic events and the current national economic climate? In September, the U.S. economy marked a major milestone; the 10-year anniversary of the FROODSVHRI/HKPDQ%URWKHUVDJOREDO¿QDQFLDO VHUYLFHV¿UPWKDWZDVRQFHWKHIRXUWKODUJHVW investment bank in the United States. This was considered the tipping point in what soon EHFDPHDJOREDO¿QDQFLDOFULVLVVWHPPHG largely by a crash of the U.S. housing market. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession technically began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, based on the value of goods and services produced and sold, or gross domestic product (GDP). However, the national unemployment rate continued to climb until October 2009, when it peaked at 10 percent then began to decrease as federal stimulus measures began to have a positive impact. During the recession and in the years immediately following, the meetings industry experienced serious cutbacks as did the travel and hospitality industry. Businesses laid off workers by the thousands and cut back spending on corporate travel and events, while discretion- ary spending by consumers dipped. A report by Skift, a media company that provides news, research, and marketing services for the travel indus- try, pointed out, "the global economic recession struck fear and loathing into the heart of the hospitality and tourism in- dustry when companies started curtailing travel for meetings and conventions. On top of that, state governments and Capitol Hill started shutting down travel for meetings in the face of public outcry against what constituents perceived as wasteful spending." Fast forward to 2018 and things have changed dramati- cally for the better. According to the Skift report, the hos- pitality industry has not only recovered from the recession, it now employs 153,000 more people than before the start of the recession. Restaurants have recovered at a faster pace than the general economy and airlines reached pre-crisis payroll levels in 2017. Economic growth in the U.S. has been on an upward surge for several years and 2018 has so far been an especially strong Ź ANNUAL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT Fewer than 100 Average Attendance What is the average attendance at your largest meeting? 21% 17% 45% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 17% Percentage of Meeting Planners 101-500 501-1,000 More than 1,000 Increased Slightly Comparison of Average Attendance In 2018, compared to the year before, how would you describe your attendance rates? 46% 10% 10% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 31% Percentage of Meeting Planners Increased Greatly Decreased Slightly Stayed About The Same 3% Decreased Greatly Projection For 2019 For 2019, the number of meetings I plan/my organization plans will... 41% Stay The Same 38% Increase Slightly 4% Decrease Greatly 10% Decrease Slightly 7% Increase Greatly

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