MPI Outlook Report: Meetings Industry Expects Positive Business Conditions in 2023, but Challenges Remain

June 5, 2023

While the majority of meeting and event professionals are expecting favorable overall business conditions over the next year, they’re also facing new market challenges, according to Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) recently released 2023 Spring Meetings Outlook. A future-focused quarterly report that identifies new industry trends and innovations, the publication allows planners to budget and plan accordingly and ensures a strong foundation for building sound strategies that keep businesses on paths to success, according to MPI officials.

Supported in partnership with IMEX Group and sponsored by Webex Events (formerly Socio), the Spring 2023 Meetings Outlook survey was conducted from Feb. 21 to March 28 and received responses from 560 MPI members. 

Key findings include:

  • The vast majority of respondents (81%) expect favorable overall business conditions over the next year. While this is down slightly compared to pandemic highs (of more than 90%), combined with additional findings, the survey’s results point to a strong industry experiencing robust demand.
  • 38% of respondents say their business is already back to pre-pandemic levels, and an additional 27% anticipate that return happening at some point during 2023. If the projections hold, 65% of meeting professionals will be back to pre-pandemic levels of business by the end of the year.
  • Cost increases continue to outpace budgets, presenting challenges as the flood of in-person gatherings returns. The most widespread of these: 55% of respondents said F&B costs have increased more than 10%, and 50% said the same about hotel accommodations. However, only 32% of respondents expect F&B costs to grow more than 10% over the next year, and 30% said the same about hotel accommodations.
  • In-person attendance projections remain overwhelmingly positive, with 83% of respondents expecting a favorable showing over the next year. This is the fifth consecutive quarter for which 80% or more of respondents expect favorable in-person attendance. Projections for virtual attendance are steady but down significantly from the highs seen in 2020-2021.
  • For the third consecutive quarter, the percentage of respondents noting the difficulty in filling job vacancies within their organization has dropped 6% quarter over quarter, albeit, due to greater uncertainty.

“The industry’s confidence continues as meeting professionals persist in expressing optimism in the forms of increasing in-person attendance (83%) and positive business outlook (81%),” explained Jessie States, vice president of MPI Academy. “Budgets are increasing, as are costs, but 22% of meeting professionals report that their budgets are up 10% or more.” 

She continued, “While the positive outlook extends, it’s the nature of meetings that is changing. When asked what elements contribute the most to successful outcomes, it was people-centric learning, conversations and networking that scored the highest, surpassed only in most cases by the destination itself.”

As the world’s largest meeting and event industry association, MPI provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. The organization boasts a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals across nearly 70 chapters in more than 75 countries. 

Download the full Spring Meetings Outlook report here.


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Add new comment

Expert Profile
Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here.   New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, more