november 2016 | Radar
CWT Foresees Event Growth in 2017
The forecast for 2017 from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) Meetings & Events predicts growth and expects safety, security and technology to be among the major trends.
The annual forecast brings together data and insights on all aspects of the industry with an aim to help meeting planners to budget and plan for the coming year.
Analysts predict that GDP growth globally will be slightly lower in 2017, indicating that getting the best value for money and reducing the cost per attendee will be higher priorities for planners. Despite an expected decrease in client meeting spend in some regions, the forecast still predicts overall growth for the industry.
Expected developments highlighted by the forecast include: a move to a buyer’s market in North America, with hotel supply expected to surpass demand for the first time since 2009; a decrease in hotel rates in Brazil due to the solid infrastructure and supply surplus created by the recent World Cup and Olympic Games; a rise in costs per attendee and group size in Asia Pacific and a 25 per cent increase in the number of meetings; more meetings and event bookings for midscale hotels in Europe due to factors such as strict company guidelines, reduced budgets, savings targets and increasing industry regulations for buyers.
Three major trends are identified in the global meeting and events industry. Food and beverage prices are expected to rise as a result of increased production costs, changes in imports and exports, and the surge in special dietary requests from attendees. Concerning safety and security, traditional tracking of air travellers will expand to include manifests of all meeting attendees in order to facilitate emergency planning. Virtual attendance will increase across the industry using technology that provides remote attendees with two-way interaction capabilities.
The forecast also provides tips on improvements within the industry in 2017. In the case of advance strategic meetings management programs, it states: “Focus on the strategy, not the tactics and big impact areas. Consider outsourcing components of your program to accelerate development and add outside expertise, especially venue sourcing.” There is a call to optimise technology: “Re-examine your technology use to ensure support and value for your organisation and objectives” and implement a small meetings strategy: “Using transient spend with your small meetings program can maximise program benefits and cost.”
Summing up the coming year for the industry, Cindy Fisher, vice president and global head, CWT Meetings & Events, says “Heading into 2017, our forecast predicts significant growth in meetings and events for regions around the world. By being flexible with timing and destinations, planners can take full advantage of the current market to optimise their meetings and events, and produce better results.”
Photo © iStock.com/PeopleImages