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New CWT Meetings & Events Report Predicts Overall Industry Growth in 2016

Caution raised to meeting and event planners about stricter booking conditions


AMSTERDAM | 21 SEPTEMBER, 2015
CWT Meetings & Events, the award-winning meetings and events agency, has released its 2016 Meetings and Events Forecast (“Forecast”). It predicts positive growth for the industry in the coming 12 months.


While the news of overall growth is positive, the report also sounds a note of caution. As attrition and cancellation terms are becoming stricter, supplier negotiations will be more important than ever to meeting planners.

The fourth annual edition of Forecast provides event planners with comprehensive regional data, including average attendee cost per day and average group size, so they can plan and budget for the coming year.

David Moran, executive vice president, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, said: “Our Forecast is about providing clients with valuable insight for the coming year, so they armed with the most relevant information for their upcoming budgeting and negotiations. Whether they are focused on meetings, events or the widespread global adoption of Strategic Meetings Management, it’s a vital tool in preparing for the year ahead.”

 
Key findings from different regions around the world include:

  • The unpredictable economy in Asia Pacific could cause challenges in the region, although stronger demand from China and India could drive up group size and prices.
  • High demand for meetings and events venues in North America is exceeding supply, resulting in a sellers’ market. Careful planning is therefore very important;
  • Meanwhile, in Europe, buyers are gaining greater negotiating power as the region sees slow but steady growth;
  • Pockets of high demand will be created around the Rio 2016 Olympics; and Paralympic Games next summer, resulting in a potential shortage of meeting space.



This year’s report also offers a range of practical tips for those planning meetings and events in 2016. Tips include:

  • Plan ahead – be aware that some hotels in high-demand markets no longer hold space when responding to availability requests. Make internal decision makers aware, and decide if you can be flexible on dates.
  • Fuel your budget as well as your attendees - food and beverage (F&B) continues to be a significant driver of per-attendee costs. Adjust F&B patterns to manage budgets while promoting the healthy alternatives that remain very popular with attendees. 
  • Tick tock - lead time for registration and venue contracts continues to shrink. However, by increasing the lead time for larger events, event and meeting planners can increase

 

About CWT Meetings & Events
CWT Meetings & Events is the meetings & events division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel business portfolio, the world’s leading business travel and meetings management company.

CWT Meetings & Events
 is where ideas meet results. We are a global, full-service meetings and events agency with unparalleled experience, providing innovative, effective end-to-end strategic meetings and event management. With over 1,400 event specialists across over 68 countries, our expert local knowledge is backed up by our global resources.

We are driving industry-leading innovation in strategic meetings management and delivering over 35,000 creative, high-quality events for customers from all industry sectors each year. Our creative know-how helps us to deliver events with creative and innovative venue sourcing, while with our logistics expertise, we help clients with group travel, compliance, logistics, and at the same time save them money.

For more information about CWT Meetings & Events, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter.

 

Media Contact
Fredrika Rylander, CWT Global Media Relations
+ 41 79 205 23 47
frylander@carlsonwagonlit.com

 

CWT/BTN Group Research: 96% Rank Strategic Meetings Management As Successful

 

AMSTERDAM | 30 JUNE, 2016

Companies that have implemented a program for the strategic management of meetings say their programs are successful, though they also say there is still more work to do. The key benefits of an SMM program are greater transparency of spend, cost reductions, improved compliance, risk mitigation and, ultimately, improved effectiveness of their meetings and events. This is according to a new global study, released today by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and The BTN Group.

 

Driving Success in Strategic Meetings Managementbased on both quantitative and qualitative research, highlights the clear benefits of strategic meetings management (SMM) programs. However, it also shows that the market remains immature.

 

More than half of the respondents said they had made 10 percent savings from their SMM program, with a further 17 percent of respondents saving more than 15 percent.

 

The research found that many factors go into the make-up of a strategic meetings management program, making each one unique. There is a perception that the lack of a standard is because SMM is complex. However, SMM programs are in fact ultimately flexible and are tailored to each company’s specific requirements. Over 60 percent of the survey respondents outsource an element of their SMM program, be it tactical support or consulting services for example, which also helps simplify the path to success.

 

Kari Wendel, Senior Director of Global SMM Strategy & Solutions at Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s CWT Meetings & Events line of business, said, “What we found is that practically everyone who runs a strategic meetings management program defines their program as successful. All the experts agreed that a strategic meetings management program doesn’t have to be complicated and the returns can come very quickly. The advice that emerged from our research is that if you’re starting out, it’s a question of keeping it simple and focusing on strategy: tactical implementation will follow quickly. Don’t be too ambitious to begin with, demonstrate value and then grow. And the absolute key is to identify your stakeholders early on and get their buy-in.”

 

While there are many components to SMM, strategies typically start with centralized sourcing and contracting of hotel suppliers. This is where much of the cost transparency and saving arises. The study showed that cost transparency and reduction is seen as the most important success metric, followed by attendee and sponsor satisfaction and regulatory compliance.

 

One of the main barriers to implementing an SMM program is volume: a significant number of survey respondents felt they did not have enough meetings to justify a program. However, the benefits can be realized by companies that spend as little at US$1 million on meetings each year. Over 70 percent of respondents with a program are looking to expand it, clearly demonstrating the value of SMM programs.

 

Cindy Fisher, Vice President of CWT Meetings & Events at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, said, “We also looked to the future and found that there will be integration of SMM programs with marketing and events programs. Continuing industry consolidation is also going to have an impact. Bigger hotel groups, for example, will make it harder for companies without a strategic approach to negotiate good rates, or even perhaps secure space. What is abundantly clear is that an SMM program is rapidly becoming a necessity.”

 

CWT and The BTN Group interviewed with more than 20 travel and meetings management experts and SMM professionals. In addition, 246 meetings planning professionals, from multiple regions of the world, completed an online survey.

 

Discover or download the report Driving Success in Strategic Meetings Management now.

 

 

About CWT
CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events. CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. In 2015, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$24.2 billion. As part of its commitment to responsible business, CWT is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact Ten Principles.

For more information about CWT, please visit our global website atwww.carlsonwagonlit.com. Follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit

 

Media Contact

Fredrika RylanderCWT Global Media Relations
+ 41 79 205 23 47
frylander@carlsonwagonlit.com

Caution raised to meeting and event planners about stricter booking conditions
Caution raised to meeting and event planners about stricter booking conditions