The 2015 Meetings Outlook Winter Edition delves again into the latest trends in the industry. The study shows again improvement in budgets, but also increases in demand and costs.
Overall the meeting industy is getting healthier, but the rising global seller’s market will continue to task meeting professionals suffering from shorter lead times and small budgets that aren’t keeping pace with rising costs.
53% of respondents anticipate a budget increase in the near future: 11% of respondents anticipate budgets to increase by 6% or more and 42% see them increasing between 1 and 5%. That will already mean more meeting and more attendees. This in return will fill meeting rooms, hotels and flights. Seems that building those strong business - and personal - relationships is more important than ever. This will of course be a challenge for the newcomers in the industry.
FLEXIBILITY IS A KEY FACTOR WHEN BOOKING HOTELS AND VENUES
The increased demand will also make meeting planner's jobs more challenging in the sense that last minute changes and requests are harder to fulfill. If the planner has the possibility to give several options that would work for them, there's a lot bigger chance to secure a venue of their liking. As a result, some planners do see an increase in the lead times. But this isn't the case over the board and the European market is still strongly affected by the short lead times. In some European countries big events of 400-500 participants can still show up on venue's radars a month or two before the event is taking place.
Another challenge is the amount of RFPs the venues and hotels get and need to go through. Planners need to put more effort to their RFP in order to stand out.
THE CORPORATE MEETINGS SEGMENT IS EXPECTED TO SEE THE MOST POSITIVE BUSINESS IN 2015 !
There is a clear improvement in the stability of business conditions and a vast majority of panelists see that there are increase of 1-5% in the business conditions. Still, negotiations are getting harder and harder in order to get to the bottom line but "the usual and persistent trend "Do more with less" is more and more difficult to apply because suppliers don't want to bargain their products" as explained by a planner in the survey.
With the increasing costs of live attendance, companies are looking into hybrid and virtual with renewed interest. Also attendees are really looking for innovation and a smart use of technology. The panelists felt that suppliers do need to lead when it comes to technology. There are very tech savvy planners, but the best suppliers know what to bring to the technology table before the planners even need to ask.
MPI members can download the full research here.
You are the most welcome to join the panel of experts for the next Meetings Outlook survey by sending an email to: email@example.com
The MPI in Europe Team