The fourth quarter of 2022 wrapped up the corporate travel industry’s year of recovery, kept buoyant by strong growth in both Q2 and Q3, with specialists FCM Meetings & Events highlighting a stark drop in interest for both virtual and hybrid events last year.
Data showed by the end of 2022, clients planning for virtual and hybrid conferences had dropped by 75 per cent compared to 2021, the clearest sign yet that businesses were returning to face-to-face meetings, events, and conferences.
“With budgets ready and no concerns about interruptions or cancellations, corporates are booking events throughout 2023 and 2024. Significantly more events are being planned for than in 2019,” said FCM Meetings & Events General Manager, Simone Seiler.
“We’ll also see audience integration and on-the-go content contribution, on-demand content to engage pre, during and post event, and a strong emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and equality.
“For nine months in 2022, most of the world ‘got back on the road.’ – with airline seat volume doubling from 2021 to 2022. During this time, travel was tricky to navigate and likely to change at any moment.
“Fast forward to 2023 and travellers are feeling more confident to travel and less stressed with the removal of testing and quarantine conditions – this has certainly flowed through to the meetings and events sector – with the true value of in-person interaction coming back into focus.
“Looking ahead, we already have some of Australia’s top and most trusted brands locked in for major conferences and events this year, and we’ll also proudly continue with our support of such important dates like International Women’s Day and our own innovative Ideas Exchange event.
“Our advice to businesses is to engage now for whatever your needs are – whether it be a meeting, conference, or event. There’s a squeeze on capacity due to high demand throughout the year and getting ahead of the curve can help you secure the best venue and save you a lot of money.”
Silke Calder, AIME Event Director, is excited to welcome the business events community back to Melbourne. “With not long to go until showtime, the buzz in the air is palpable,” Ms Calder said.
“The support we’ve received from international destinations and Australia’s venues and suppliers has been wonderful. It sets the scene for a fabulous 30-year celebration, and I can’t wait to see everyone in-person at AIME 2023.”