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Survey Discussing Future of Meetings Highlights Key
Themes of Technology and Social Media

HSMAI Foundation Partnered with Maritz Research to Release Findings

McLean, Va. (June 6, 2012)
– The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation has partnered with Maritz Research to release results from its Future of Meetings (FOM) survey. The findings are divided into four white papers, one for each of the prominent themes of the survey.

In the 2011 study, 1,612 hospitality professionals were asked open-ended questions focused on four primary areas: technology, meetings design, social media and suppliers / venues. Most respondents were from North America (89 percent) and were female (72 percent.) Baby Boomers accounted for 47 percent of responses, Generation-Xers were at 46 percent and the remaining 6 percent were Millennials.

A majority of respondents were meeting planners (46 percent) or associated with suppliers or venues (43 percent.) The remaining respondents (11 percent) were meeting professionals that fell under other areas of the industry (e.g., meetings attendees, speakers, procurement, etc.).

The study found that there was an overlapping concentration on technology within the four primary focus areas and its emerging role from Web conferencing, to online meetings, to meetings design, to the increasing role of social media.

A bulk of respondents noted a problem with a ‘generation gap’ within the industry relating to technology. Younger professionals expect more technology options while older professionals did not put as much importance on the topic. This trend, among others, will affect the way hospitality professionals relate to different audiences.

Rick Garlick, strategic consultant Maritz Research Hospitality Group, explained the importance of the survey for the hospitality industry.

“We conducted the FOM open-ended survey in order to gauge an accurate accumulation of what is important to hospitality professionals and where they see the industry going,” Garlick said. “Knowing that technology is the omnipresent topic shows that meeting planners, suppliers and others in the industry need to find how they can continue to remain competitive in this space.”

Results from the study include strengths and weaknesses of:

  • The emerging role of technology in virtual and face-to-face meetings
  • New ways of thinking about meeting design
  • Social media and its multi-faceted role
  • Future expectation of venues
While the future of the shifting hospitality industry represents challenges for professionals, there are also opportunities when accessing key trends from the study.

“The HSMAI Foundation is dedicated to the ongoing education of hospitality professionals and ensuring they remain at the forefront of industry trends,” said Fran Brasseux, executive director of HSMAI Foundation. “The Maritz Research FOM study is one that was important for the Foundation to publish due to it supporting this mission.”

Visit to download the study findings white papers.

About HSMAI Foundation

Established in 1983 to serve as the research and educational arm of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the HSMAI Foundation's mission is to develop knowledge and insights for the future to fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue. For more information on the HSMAI Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization, visit

Lindsay Stout

Natalie Wilson

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