DestinationMAP, in a report on the meeting and conventions market, says meeting planners hunting a venue remain cost-conscious but are not as militant about price as in the period immediately following the 2008 financial crash.
Specifically, there is more concern with travel, food and lodging costs as well as securing "good value" from a destination.
"Evidence indicated these cost concerns trumped convenient travel and a host of recreational and logistical considerations when meeting planners were selecting host sites for their upcoming meetings," DestinationMAP said in its 2012 report.
Regionally, Jamaica is not the only country suffering from convention malaise with its convention centre in Montego Bay, which is yet to show it can operate viably.
Puerto Rico's 250-acre Convention Center District which was being primed to receive increased conventioneers have facilities that are also struggling, according to a July 2012 article in Caribbean Business Report, a publication based in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has doubled the total number of meetings and conventions since 1995.
The International Association Meetings Market 2002-2011 - a publication of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) which reports on international meetings and events - notes that North America has been the region with the largest average numbers of participants per meeting over the past decade, but the region lags behind Europe as the choice of place for holding actual conventions.
The dominant host markets for conventions are Vienna, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin, which have all taken turns on being number one, according to the ICCA.
North America is Jamaica's and the region's primary market source. The estimated number of participants in 2011 meetings amounted to 5.52 million people, compared to 5.37 million attending meetings in 2010.
Hotels were also the number-one choice for meetings, followed by convention centres.
"Ever since hotels first took first place as most popular venue in 2005, they have retained this first position with almost 45.4 per cent market share in 2011, compared to 34. 9 per cent at the beginning of the past decade," said ICCA.
Universities are the third most-popular venue for conventions, with 20 per cent of the international market, behind convention centres. The ICCA reports that the most popular subject for symposiums by far is still Medical Science.
The average total expenditure of all meetings included in the ICCA association database was US$13.75 billion in 2011.
In Jamaica, according to data from the UDC, the Montego Bay Convention Centre at Rose Hall has hosted some 187 events since it opened for business in 2011. However, 99 per cent of the events were generated locally, with the facility utilised for only 279 days in the past 16 months.
Revenue from the MoBay facility has been insufficient to cover the J$30-million monthly maintenance cost.
DestinationMAP, a study done out of North America, indicates that compared to the earlier part of the recession, cost concerns are falling off somewhat and meeting holders are starting to place renewed importance on travel convenience and recreational opportunities at sites.
Despite this relatively upbeat news, many of the realities of the economic downturn have not gone away, the Destination MAP study noted.
The vast majority of meeting planners said that they are going to negotiate more discounts and concessions and continue to shop value and price. These tendencies, though, are somewhat down from levels seen in 2009, DestinationMAP said.