The survey of almost 200 planners found that 18% would be prioritising learning about the industry, while the same percentage would be focusing on development specific to their own organisations.
Of those who planned to prioritise learning about the meetings and events industry, more than half specifically highlighted gaining more contacts and product knowledge among venues and destinations, as well as sourcing venues within specific geographic regions.
Other key areas mentioned by respondents for gaining more industry knowledge were finding out about new technology trends relevant to the industry, expanding supplier contacts, and discovering the latest innovations in events.
Learning new skills also emerged as an important area for development, with 16% of respondents citing this as their priority. This focus on developing new skills is reflected across all levels of seniority with participants with 10 years-experience still stating this as key for the coming year.
Marketing and social media was one of the most frequently mentioned areas that respondents felt they needed to learn more about or upskill in, with almost 10% of all participants in the survey including this in their answers.
Among the other skills event planners feel they need to improve upon were project management, networking, budget management, creativity, negotiation, and leadership and management.
David Chapple, group event director for The Meetings Show, said: “Meetings and events professionals have an incredible thirst for knowledge, so it’s no surprise that so many are keen to further their knowledge of the industry. Event attendees are always looking for something new and exciting, which is why being on top of the latest trends and knowing all about the hottest venues and destinations is vital.
“The results of this research will play an important role in our development of the education programme for The Meetings Show 2019, ensuring we cover the topics that are most important to our audience. When it comes to networking and gaining contacts within the industry, as well as learning about venues and destinations around the world, there’s no better place to find everything you need all under one roof, making The Meetings Show an invaluable resource for meetings and events planners.”