Recession, Financial Crisis Spur Near 30% Decline in U.S. Corporate Groups & Meetings Market


Cathy Schetzina
+1 860 350-4084 x380

New PhoCusWright report examines key trends in technology, procurement and spend management that are dramatically reshaping a hobbled corporate meetings landscape.

Sherman, CT USA, January 6, 2011—A new report from travel industry research authority PhoCusWright finds that the U.S. corporate groups and meetings market suffered an astounding 29% decline in gross bookings in 2009, as a result of the recession and financial crisis. A new PhoCusWright report indicates that a moderate resumption of growth, underway since late 2009, will finally begin to impact the industry's bottom line in 2011.

PhoCusWright's Groups and Meetings: Driving Success in Business Travel's Most Complex Segment goes in-depth to examine the full impact of the recession and the outlook through 2012. While the market has clearly begun to recover, total gross travel bookings in 2012 will still be well below even 2006 levels.

"If 2009 was a difficult year for the travel industry, it was disastrous for the corporate groups and meetings marketplace," says Douglas Quinby, senior director, research at PhoCusWright. "But the story in this market is not just about decline and recovery – which is underway – but really about transformation. Early developments in strategic meetings management and procurement, virtual meetings technology, and the application of social media and mobile services are now clearly established. These trends are reshaping how organizers are managing meetings, delivering content, engaging attendees, and ultimately realizing ROI."

PhoCusWright's Groups and Meetings: Driving Success in Business Travel's Most Complex Segment provides a robust picture of the U.S. groups and meetings market, based in part on data collected through a survey conducted with more than 600 meeting buyers, including meeting managers, planners, coordinators and procurement professionals. To supplement this extensive data, PhoCusWright interviewed more than 30 suppliers and intermediaries that service the industry – hotels, cruise lines, virtual meeting providers, TMCs, GDSs, technology providers and others. Key areas of focus in the report include:

Market sizing and forecasts for 2008-2012, with analysis of meeting size and types, travel vs. non-travel spend, online bookings, use of intermediaries and more
Trends in meeting management, including reporting and oversight, the influence of procurement, centralization, outsourcing and SMMP (Strategic Meetings Management Program) implementation
Impact of virtual/video conferencing, with data and discussion on the extent to which virtual elements are displacing and/or supplementing physical meetings
Social and mobile technology trends, including how emerging technologies influence the quality of the meeting experience and extend the meeting lifecycle
Despite the significant downturn, the U.S. corporate groups and meetings market is now on track to achieve double-digit growth by 2012. PhoCusWright's Groups and Meetings: Driving Success in Business Travel's Most Complex Segment delivers the numbers and know-how necessary for success in this volatile, but extremely promising segment. Introductory pricing is available through February 28.

About PhoCusWright Inc.
PhoCusWright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, PhoCusWright fosters smart strategic planning and tactical decision-making.

PhoCusWright delivers qualitative and quantitative research on the evolving dynamics that influence travel, tourism and hospitality distribution. Our marketplace intelligence is the industry standard for segmentation, sizing, forecasting, trends, analysis and consumer travel planning behavior. Every day around the world, senior executives, marketers, strategists and research professionals from all segments of the industry value chain use PhoCusWright research for competitive advantage.

To complement its primary research and learning solutions in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia, PhoCusWright produces several high-profile conferences in the United States and Germany, and partners with conferences in Canada, China and Singapore. Industry leaders and company analysts bring this intelligence to life by debating issues, sharing ideas and defining the ever-evolving reality of travel commerce.

The company is headquartered in the United States with Asia-Pacific operations based in India and local analysts on five continents.

PhoCusWright is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Media, LLC.