Top Insights on Global Meetings and Events [American Express GBT report]

As in-person meetings and events make a triumphant return, we can learn from from our experiences and make positive, long-lasting changes to the way we work. Technological advancements and a renewed focus on sustainability, wellness, and inclusivity offer the industry a clear path forward.

Travel and meetings industry professionals are at a defining moment. See the most interesting insights below or read the 2023 Global Meetings and events forecasts here.

Global Activity

Meetings and events in person returned faster and at a higher level in 2022 than predicted. In 2023, survey respondents expect to outpace expectations.

In-person meetings are predicted to increase globally by 3.3% for conferences and tradeshows and by 4.2% for small and simple meetings. It is expected that virtual and hybrid meetings will see modest increases, ranging from 0.2% more product launches to 1.6% more client and customer advisory boards. The hybrid format is currently a fallback rather than a first choice, but survey respondents differ in what they expect in 2023.

Source: American Express GBT report

It is expected that supplier capacity will increase in 2023. Some hotels have already reported bookings above those of 2019. Responses predict modest increases in room availability (0.7%) and meeting space availability (1.4%). By 2024, respondents expect room and meeting space prices to increase by 2.5% and 2.7%, respectively.

What about flights? Airline leaders stated in interviews that, despite the airline industry still facing significant challenges, most major routes would be back in service by 2023, and travelers, both for business and for leisure, will be more confident about booking international flights. Airline route frequency and seat capacity are lagging, according to industry leaders.

Global Trends

In short: meetings and events will be held more frequently, more attendees will attend, budgets will be increased, and rates will go up. Additionally, a new focus is being put on partnerships, sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as technology. Also, education is a top priority, as is the use of technology for automation and frank communication between planners and clients. 

Stress levels are currently high on both sides to get meetings ‘right’ and have ‘perfect’ events,” said Linda McNairy, vice president of Americas, American Express Meetings & Events.

In addition, with a dispersed workforce, it is no longer an option to bring employees together for training and team building. Today, companies realize the importance of in-person meetings for strengthening culture, onboarding new employees and increasing employee engagement.

Source: American Express GBT report


It’s also worth mentioning that we encounter dispersed workforces. And it comes with many challenges. Organizations need to guard against:

  • a lack of employee engagement, 
  • reduced understanding of business goals, 
  • difficulty training staff, 
  • employee burnout, 
  • and more.

Internal meetings, particularly in-person internal meetings, continue to be a higher priority than they were pre-pandemic, as organizations see the value of bringing their employees together face to face as a way to improve productivity, create shared culture, and reduce turnover.


In both in-person and virtual/hybrid formats, meeting planners continue to focus on attendee health and wellness. Meeting planners recognize that not everyone can or wants to sustain such a high level of activity during face-to-face meetings. Therefore, they are creating schedules that cater to the wellbeing of attendees rather than jamming them full of activities from early morning to late at night.


Over the last few years, the digitalization of meeting management has caused a mini-revolution in how meetings are planned. Small and simple meetings and other straightforward bookings can be streamlined and simplified with automated software platforms.

Air and Hotel Sectors

Simplification and automation extend to how meetings and events are planned, with meeting professionals and air and hotel suppliers using technology to eliminate some manual tasks.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Almost 87 percent of survey respondents said their organization actively strives to incorporate DE&I into their meetings and events. Choosing destinations that actively reach out to multicultural groups, hiring diverse suppliers, and booking accessible venues are all ways to accomplish these goals.

Regional Trends

The changing workplace and the emphasis on diversity and sustainability make meeting professionals work in a much more complex environment today. Due to a dispersed workforce, high-quality internal meetings have become increasingly important. 

Furthermore, meeting management policies that reflect corporate messaging and branding on DE&I and green practices are being adopted and applied to all types of events, including internal and small meetings. According to planners across all regions, they are using strategies to strengthen corporate culture and meet their organization’s goals, although how they accomplish those goals differs.

Source: American Express GBT report

North America

  • Meeting professionals in North America believe 2023 will be a year of rapid growth. 
  • 65% chose 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10) or higher when asked how optimistic they were about their career options in the industry – it’s an increase from 56% in 2022. 
  • 72% of respondents rated the industry’s health as an 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10. 
  • A total of 15% of respondents said their offices were fully remote, 33% said they were partially open for hybrid workforces, and 52% said they were fully open.

Source: American Express GBT report


  • On a scale of 1 to 10, 75% of meeting professionals in Europe rate their optimism levels at 8 or higher in 2023, up from 59% last year. 
  • Over half, 58%, said their career options were good to excellent. 
  • 54% of Europeans said their organizations had fully reopened their offices; 
  • 42% said their workplace was partially open or hybrid; 
  • only 4% said they were fully remote.

Source: American Express GBT report

Latin America

  • Latin American meeting professionals are extremely optimistic about what 2023 will bring: similar to previous years, respondents in this region have the highest levels of optimism. 
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, 90% rated themselves as optimistic, and 82% rated their career options as good to excellent – the highest percentage of all regions surveyed. 
  • 50% of respondents said their organization’s offices were fully open, 44% said they were partially open, and 6% said they were completely remote.

Source: American Express GBT report

Asia Pacific

  • The meeting industry in the Asia Pacific is feeling positive about its future in 2023. 
  • 74% asked to rank their optimism about the industry on a 1–10 scale ranked themselves an 8 or higher, and 68% believe their career options are good to excellent
  • Most respondents (52%) said their offices were fully open; only 2% said they were working completely remotely, and 46% said their offices were partially open or hybrid.

Source: American Express GBT report

Over to You

It’s clear from the findings in this report that there is a strong desire to connect. Organizations understand that bringing people together is essential to driving creativity and motivation, rewarding excellence, attracting and retaining the best talent with dispersed teams, and remote work.

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