Global Destination Report: the value of business events



# tags: Events , Destinations

Launched at IBTM World, The Business of Events – Global Destination Report shows the need for advocacy of the value of business events.

The report focuses on funding, sentiment, and legacy, with the objective to demonstrate to governments and policymakers the benefits of having a strong and supported business events sector. In partnership with Meet in Ireland, the report was commissioned by brand communications agency Davies Tanner and researcher SFA Connect to establish how the industry has change in the last 12 months.

The main objectives of the report (online survey and interviews, with a total of 904 participants) were to provide data for destinations to use as a tool for leverage with policy makers to gain support, obtain additional or appropriate budget, help shape future decision making, provide evidence to get the industry stronger and gain better recognition from and within government.

Colletive need for government understanding of the value of business events

According to The Business of Events – Global Destination Report, the volume of business events in 2023 witnessed a significant overall increase, with international events leading the surge. Despite this, a majority of respondents reported no changes in their bid or subvention funds since 2019, suggesting a possible mismatch between event growth and financial support.

Analysis of the survey data revealed that 77% of respondents reported either stable or increased core funding since 2022. Additionally, 75% reported a positive change in the direct economic value of business meetings, underlining the economic importance of such events.

The Business of Events – Global Destination Report indicates a prevailing recognition of its importance. However, general comments from survey participants underscored a collective need for increased advocacy and government understanding of the value of business events, with calls for better funding, changes in business models, and heightened awareness of the significance of legacy and event impact on the economy and local communities.

“The business events industry is a critical driver for global economies”

The interviews augmented survey findings and revealed four main focus areas: business model, funding, legacy, and threats. In the first area, a majority (77%) felt their current business model was fit for purpose, yet almost two-thirds (61%), predominantly European destinations, believed they lacked sufficient human resources.

According to the report, nearly half (46%) experienced budget increases, attributing this to governmental recognition and support. Conversely, those with stagnant or reduced funding (54%) perceived a lack of governmental understanding.

Legacy was universally acknowledged as important, but half felt their government did not fully appreciate its value. Furthermore, a significant portion lacked the resources to measure, monitor, or nurture business event legacy. At last, common threats identified included climate and sustainability, economic factors, political unrest, and geographical accessibility.

Claudia Hall, Event Director, IBTM, said: “The business events industry is a critical driver for global economies, generating roughly $662.6 billion in direct GDP. The 2023 Global Destination Report 2023 shows that, despite this, there is ground to make-up when it comes to the need for advocacy and a greater understanding from Government of the value and intrinsic benefits of business events. There’s a significant need for better funding and for a change in business models so that destinations have the capacity to deliver the benefits business events can bring when it comes to leaving a positive legacy in the economy and local communities. In order to drive this forward, it is essential that destinations collaborate to share, discuss and debate insights and initiatives so that together, we can raise the profile of business events and the significant economic and social impact and change they can drive.”

David Boyce, Head of Business Tourism & Emerging Markets, Tourism Ireland & Meet in Ireland, added: “As we navigate the evolving landscape of global business events, let this report serve as a compass, guiding us towards innovation, collaboration, and the continued success of our industry. I hope the insights that are shared inspire destinations worldwide to recognise the integral role of business events in shaping their futures and promoting sustainable growth.”