The Incentive Research Foundation has revealed that almost 60% of travel planners have experienced some form of disruption in their events, estimating that almost a quarter of their events have been affected in some way.

“Our research showed that disruptions have a significant impact on meetings and incentives – whether the disruptions make front page news or occur behind the scenes,” said IRF President Melissa Van Dyke. “The 2016 Event Disruption Study examines what caused these disruptions and how they impacted the events, budgets, and partnerships.”

The “2016 Event Disruption Study” was completed in 2016 by University of South Carolina professors Dr. Haemoon Oh, Ph.D, and Dr. Miyoung Jeong, Ph.D. There were 18 interviews and 266 electronic responses. Event planners were surveyed on all events they had planned in 2015 and 2016.

Critical findings on the causes and impacts of disruptions discussed white paper “Adjusting Perspectives Regarding Disruptions in Meetings and Incentives” include:

  • Disruptions caused financial loss for 43% of planners or their companies, with the amount of the most frequent financial loss falling between $10,000 and $99,999.
  • Nearly 70% of planners have changed the destination at least once because of perceived risks or disruptions.
  • Just over 40% of the planners have experienced some increase in the time and effort to plan for disruptions in the past two years.
  • Looking ahead, 39% of the planners expect that their time and effort to plan for disruptions will increase somewhat in the next two years.
  • Almost 20% of the planners who experienced one or more disruptions in the past 12 months reported that those disruptions damaged the company’s reputation or brand.
  • Almost one half the planners (49%) have switched at least one business partner due to the partner’s poor handling of disruptions.
  • Among the switched partners, hotels were most frequent (26%), followed by DMCs (11%) and airlines (7%)

To download a copy of the full study, please visit