Post-Recession Business Meetings Trending Shorter and Smaller

Source: Accelerated Design


To fit today’s corporate cost-control and savings goals, organizations are planning shorter, internal meetings than before the 2008 recession.

According to Active Network's Event Trends: 2008-2012 study, requests for meeting proposals are now exceeding pre-recession levels, but companies are reducing the number of people attending events (often to under 50), and reducing event length to same or one-day meetings.

PR pros should take note: In the wake of the Great Recession, smaller, more intimate events are in vogue, while large gatherings are going the way of the Edsel due to travel-budget constraints.

"Organizations are adopting strategies such as trimming event size, switching to local destinations and holding shorter meetings in order to reduce and control meeting costs," said JR Sherman, senior VP of business solutions at Active Networks, in a statement.

The study, which was drawn from nearly 36,000 unique electronic requests for proposal (eRFPs) across five cities, does point to positive signs of economic recovery—eRFPS surpassed 2008 levels by 6% during the first 10 months of 2012. More significantly, the total eRFPs received through October 2012 stood 46% higher than the recessionary low-mark in 2009.

However, half of all 2012 eRFPs tracked were for meetings under 50 people, representing a 5% increase compared to 2008. It's not just that meetings have fewer attendees they're also decreasing in length.

Same and one-day events now represent more than one-third (35%) of eRFPs, up 14% from 2008, showing a clear migration by companies to shorten events. What’s more, two and three-day events fell from 46% of eRFPs in 2008 to 40% in 2012.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg


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