The success of the exhibition industry is closely akin to the success of airlines. We have all seen the result when airlines are grounded by acts of nature which we begrudgingly accept. After all, there’s not much you can do to predict a volcano eruption or mitigate the effects of a hurricane.
But there is another variable – airline profits.
According to an article in Bloomberg Newsweek, the number of cancelled flights in the US last year reached a ten year high of 104,000. Yes many flights were cancelled as a result of acts of nature which as the planet warms are increasing, but according to the article “Airlines are cancelling sooner and getting smarter about doing it.”
US airlines are now 24% more likely to cancel a flight since the inception of the 3-hour tarmac rule passed in 2010. This rule states that if a passenger is kept on board over three hours from the time the airplane leaves the gate until take off, the costs of the passenger inconvenience is passed along to the airline. In addition with fewer flight options travelers are less likely to find a replacement flight to their destination.
While this particular regulation is based in the United States the issue of profitability is global. During the past two decades there have been over 160 airlines who have declared bankruptcy.
It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see how as airlines scramble for profits it may be at the expense of MICE events who will find it increasingly more difficult to guarantee the presence of an audience.