APR 2012

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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Home Planning Directory FEA TURE: CORPORA TE MEETINGS Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase sh rt 12 ConventionSouth APRIL 2012 & to the point. the By Selena Chavis word on corporate meetings business has been positive for going on two years now. As the economy began to recover leading into 2011, the events industry also began to see a healthy recovery—a welcomed outlook for the hospitality industry. A 2011 Business Travel Quarterly report put out by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) revealed expectations for moderate but stable growth going into 2012. It also predicted that business travel will reach its pre-recession levels by the middle of the year. "We expect this trend to continue albeit more modestly. We are anticipating 3.7 percent growth for 2012 as companies re-evaluate budgets due to uncer- tainty from the Euro zone crisis effecting global business," said Joseph Bates, senior director of research at GBTA. "Companies realized that face- to-face meetings help strengthen business ties and also create new relationships." Bates acknowledged that during the height of the recession, group travel slowed dramatically, because meetings and events were seen as an "extravagance." "Companies began to pull back almost to the point of their own determent," he added. "Going forward, we don't predict meetings activity to return to their pre-recession extravagance, but we do expect planners to find ways to get more out their meetings www.con v

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